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Why are everyone’s pets all of a sudden on Instagram?

Social & Digital

Why are everyone’s pets all of a sudden on Instagram?


If you’ve opened your Instagram account in the past 24 hours, chances are you’ve seen pictures of everyone’s pets. Possibly put one up yourself. But who’s behind the post, and what’s the end result?

Last week, Instagram announced changes to the platform. One of them being the “Add Yours” sticker, which allows users to add their own picture to a story. Essentially this sticker allows a scrapbook of images from users globally.

An account with the handle @plantatreeco decided to try the new feature for themselves. They wrote a simple caption, “We’ll plant 1 tree for every pet picture.” And so, the pictures started. And they didn’t stop.

Pictures from all around the world came in thick and fast. People were desperate to add their pets to the stream of cute feeds. Wanting to be part of an internet trend isn’t new, and this was no different.

The account claims that they took the post down within ten minutes after seeing the speed at which it had taken off. In a post put up by the account, they claimed that the new Instagram feature had a bug.

But, the results were done. With over 4.1 million pet pictures now added to the sticker, the account’s original post was now impossible.

Meta, formerly Facebook, which owns Instagram, told The Washington Post in a statement, “The ‘we’ll plant one tree for every pet picture’ trend shows the power of the Instagram community to raise awareness on important topics.”

Meta said that the trend, “Like all other ‘Add Yours’ sticker threads,” was launched “by an independent Instagram account — not Instagram.”

What this tells us about the power of social media?

In the face of criticism and with TikTok on their heels of being the most powerful and used social media account, it seems that the power of Instagram still remains. The new features have proven to be, if anything, powerful.

The account is now urging those who posted to plant their own tree, in the hopes the goals of 4.1 million can be reached. But, in the meantime, for Instagram it shows that new features can breath fresh are into an ageing platform.

Liv Croagh

Liv Croagh was the Managing Editor of Marketing Mag from September 2021 to September 2023.

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