You don’t know me, but I am so thankful for you. And I feel like it’s time you know why.
It might sound dramatic, or maybe not since I think this was your intention from the beginning, but either way it’s the absolute truth.
Instagram has forever changed my life.
How you ask? How has your tiny little app made such an enormous impact on my life?
My love for art has grown. But I could have just gone to a museum.
My purpose in photography has matured. But I could have bought an inspirational photography book.
My creativity, my technical skills, have developed by learning from photographers who inspire me. But I could have taken a couple college courses instead.
So what makes Instagram special?
Somewhere in the midst of all this learning, an even more wonderful thing was happening. A vibrant, supportive, encouraging, loving community was developing all around me.
And what a gift it has been.
Because of Instagram…
I have developed friendships that cannot be confined within this tiny square.
I have met women who challenge me daily.
I have an army of moms I learn from, am inspired by, who I call friends.
I have hugged some of these usernames in real life.
I communicate regularly with dozens of mamas I never would have met without the gift of Instagram.
There are countless others with stories just like mine.
And I found every friendship, connection, inspiration, through Feature Pages.
Every. Single. One.
Feature pages on Instagram are so much more than a brief moment in the spotlight and maybe a couple new followers. Feature pages pave the way for connection. Feature pages provide inspiration. Feature pages allow community to flourish.
There are thousands of close-knit communities on Instagram. That’s the beauty of the world you have created for us. Let me tell you about the community that has played an irreplaceable role in my life.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the mom community on Instagram is a force to be reckoned with. These are some of the most sensational women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Ask any one of us and we will talk you ear off about the countless friendships we have made through Instagram. We will tell you how we support each other. How we choose to be real with each other. How we share the good, the bad and the super ugly. We have watched each other’s kids grow up. We send birthday gifts. We grieve together when tragedy strikes. For a lot of us, hardly a day goes by that we aren’t texting or calling or group messaging, just to check on each other and laugh about a stressful day.
Being a mom is wonderful, exhilarating, exciting, overwhelming and exhausting. And often a little bit lonely. The opportunity for community that Instagram provides, has created a beautiful way for moms to connect. Mamas who probably never would have met otherwise.
And all thanks to Feature Pages.
Suddenly. Without warning. Those children’s photography Feature Pages have been shut down by Instagram. Feature Pages that have the support of, and are run by, the mama community. Feature Pages that only feature photos tagged to them. Feature Pages that always credit the original photographer. Feature Pages that have brought thousands of us together. Gone. No explanation. No warning. Confusing emails. Tidbits of information. No clear answers.
Why is this happening?
We love Instagram.
This letter is not about arguing or fighting or demanding anything. We are so thankful for this community. We trust that Instagram has the best interest of its users and community at heart. We have wondered if these pages being shut down is in response to the few profiles that steal photos, or the inappropriate role-playing sites. If so, then thank you for taking action to try and protect our photos and our children.
But please hear our humble request.
Please don’t take our community from us.
We are more than willing to make modifications to our feature pages to follow any new or existing guidelines that we were not aware of. We are willing to change our methods. We are willing to answer questions. We ask only that someone from Instagram address what is happening and tell us how we can work together to protect and grow this community. We asks for our accounts to be reactivated so that our community can continue to grow and encourage and love each other.
You have said the purpose of Instagram is to, “capture and share the world’s moments”. In all of that sharing, something amazing is happening. Thank you for that. Thank you for this community. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
From the bottom of my heart. And for the mama community on Instagram.