After her record-setting performance at the 2016 Olympic Games, American gymnast Simone Biles (@simonebiles) found herself in the spotlight. “I haven’t paid any attention to the limelight, since I’ve been so busy,” says 19-year-old Simone, who grew up in Houston. “But it’s definitely a different feeling knowing that so many people watch what I do.” Many may have gotten caught up in the hype — but Simone has stayed grounded, with lots of support from her family and friends. “I just try to enjoy it and still be me, because the most important thing is to always be yourself.” Today, we’re rolling out new tools to maintain the positivity and safety of our community. We are committed to keeping Instagram a welcoming place for everyone.
A Note from Kevin Systrom (@kevin): In September, I shared our commitment to keeping Instagram a positive place for self-expression with the introduction of a keyword filter for comments. Today, I’d like to tell you about new commenting features that we’re launching. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to turn off comments on any of your posts. Previously this was only available for a small number of accounts. You’ll be able to tap “Advanced Settings” then select “Turn Off Commenting.” You can also tap the ... menu any time after posting to turn comments back on. Also, we’re adding the ability to like comments by tapping a heart icon next to any comment. Liking lets you show support and encourages positivity throughout the community. These updates still mark the beginning. We will continue to work to maintain Instagram as a welcoming and safe place for everyone. To learn more about these tools and others, check out Kevin Systrom Co-Founder & CEO
In Istanbul, Asli (@insearchofwonders) took her love of baking to new heights when she conjured this enchanted reaction to a bite of cake. 🍰✨ The goal of #WHPmagic was to bring magic to everyday life with surreal and imaginative photos and videos. Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions. Photo by @insearchofwonders
Hello, world! Meet today’s #WeeklyFluff, Alfie and Biscuit (@alfie.and.biscuit). These two mini lop twin bunnies live in London and love their treats. Follow @alfie.and.biscuit for more happy — and hoppy — moments in your feed. 🐰 🐰
A trip to a tree farm in Oregon City led to this funny optical illusion captured by photographer Thomas Boyd (@thomasrboyddotcom). “Simply put, it looks like a tree grew legs and is trying to escape the tree farm,” he says. #TheWeekOnInstagram Photo by @thomasrboyddotcom
Mariola Yvonne (@mariolayvonne) captures the ambiance of the Badeschiff — a floating swimming pool in Berlin’s Spree River during summer months — after it was transformed into a winter market and village. Photo by @mariolayvonne
Tap our profile pic to watch our Instagram story and see what a day is like for singer and songwriter John Legend (@johnlegend). He’s currently on the move promoting his new album “Darkness and Light.” Photo by @bumper3077
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPmagic The goal this weekend is to bring magic to everyday life with surreal and imaginative photos and videos. Here’s how to get started: Seek inspiration from fairy tales and film. Stage a scene with your own magical characters using colorful costumes and props. Find touches of magic in the world around you — whether it’s a prism of light appearing like a mysterious portal on your bedroom wall, or a forest transformed into an enchanted woodland by early morning fog. Create optical illusions with your videos and photos. Make a gravity-defying Boomerang, or shooting from a unique perspective so objects appear smaller or larger in your images than in real life. PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPmagic hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week. Featured photo by @halno
When French photo artist Romain Nicoloso (@p22_art) seeks inspiration, he moves house. “After eight years in Paris, I decided to move from my comfort zone and live overseas to discover new cultures and meet new people,” the 27-year-old says. “I am currently living in Sydney but will be leaving soon to Hong Kong for a new experience.” While Romain’s location changes, the one constant in his portfolio is a playful, vivid imagination that sends sheep to a skyscraper rooftop by balloon or whales to the clouds. “I try to bring something new — a new way to interpret things, to surprise people,” he says. Romain’s hopes for anyone who sees his work? “I want people to feel free in their mind,” he says. “That’s how I feel when I create. Everyone is creative, we just need sometimes to think out of the box without constraint.” Photo illustration by @p22_art
Nyimas Laula Li An’Amie (@nyimaslaula) has her #EyesOn a world under the sea. Growing up in Indonesia, an archipelago nation of over 17,000 islands, the 24-year-old photographer spent weekends on the beach with family but had little idea what existed beneath the surface. That all changed when she took up free diving, descending deep into the water, without oxygen tanks. “Being underwater is like being where life starts from,” she says. “Free diving keeps me humble and reminds me that I’m just a tiny human in the big ocean.” Now, exploring her country above and below the water, Nyimas is confronted by scenes that disturb — like swampy fields of plastic waste, skies lost in industrial haze — and those that induce awe, like a pod of melon-headed whales in clear, blue water. “I swam side by side like I was one of them,” says Nyimas of her whale sighting. “Watched them play, heard them sing. They reminded me that on this planet, we’re not the only ones who try to survive. They gave me hope — to keep fighting to save our planet.” Photo by @nyimaslaula
“I tried to think outside the box with this WHP,” says 25-year-old student Karen Cantú (@karencantuq) from Mexico on her creative submission to #WHPthisishome. “Our world is our home, and nature is a big part of it — plants, animals. I wanted to show an ideal ‘home’ where we live among nature and respect it.” Photo illustration by @karencantuq
Graphic designer and Don Fisher (@don_fisher) founder Julia Castaño is responsible for the sea creatures that jump out of the ocean and transform into backpacks, card holders and pouches. Julia, who lives in Barcelona, Spain, dreams up goods influenced from a wide array of sources: Scandinavian design, the Mediterranean Sea and the double meaning of the Spanish word “bonito,” which refers to a family of fish but also means pretty. “Everything is focused on the sea,” says Lorena Fernández, who works with Julia. “If we’re going to set up a fish market, we’ll put on aprons. Julia’s guy acts as Don Fisher, the role of the captain. We’re the crew.” ⚓️🐠 To discover more voices from the Spanish-speaking community, follow @instagrames. Photo by @don_fisher
A sketch by Sarah Nisbett (@drawnontheway) evokes the simple pleasure of putting your feet up at home — complete with a furry companion. Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions to #WHPthisishome this week. Photo by @drawnontheway
For his submission to #WHPthisishome, photographer Jilson Tiu (@jilson.tiu) visited an organic farm in the Philippines and met Enzo, a farmer whose work reminds Jilson we all share Earth as our home. Photo by @jilson.tiu
Londoner Nia Pettitt (@frogirlginny) is building a curly-haired global community. “I have been able to connect with thousands of people over something as simple as hair,” says the 19-year-old student who organizes “FroDay” meetups around the world, encouraging others to embrace their natural curls. “I specialize in cutting curly hair and restoring love to it. I only do it part-time, but my dream is to eventually pursue this passion.” Nia said goodbye to straighteners in her early teens and let her hair blossom. “I want people to feel like they are beautiful regardless of their ‘flaws,’” says Nia. “The thing that makes me #PerfectlyMe is my soul because it is vibrant. I am like a sunflower. I project light to others. I stand out because of my big curly hair and I am strong.” What inspires you to feel #PerfectlyMe? Use the hashtag to share your story. Photo by @frogirlginny