According to a recent statistic, the social media app Instagram has around 400 million monthly active users. Instagram is constantly adapting and updating itself; from small changes like “bug fixes” to larger ones like the ability to upload videos as well as photos. They’ve also went from the “popular” page, which included the most popular posts that were trending on the app to the Search & Explore page, which is similar to the popular page, but here users are able to find photos, videos or people as well as different hashtags and places that are trending. Hashtags have played an important role in raising awareness on social issues, and recently the hashtag #VisibleMe made it’s way to the top of Instagram’s Search & Explore page.
According to an article from Buzzfeed, LGBT youth are sharing their stories on Instagram using this hashtag. The article states, “If you head over to Instagram’s Explore page today, you’ll find their first ever LGBT-related video feed. The #VisibleMe page features LGBT youth sharing their personal stories, struggles, and advice.” The #VisibleMe project was created by Raymond Braun, who is seen pictured above in my screenshot and “hopes the hashtag will help LGBT youth safely open up about their own sexuality, body image, coming out stories and more.” If you click on the top photo on the Search and Explore page, pages of videos from different users come up and talk about their own story. I think that this is a great way for Instagram to use the big platform that they have, and although this isn’t technically a “policy,” it’s still a way for stories to be shared.