Photo Credit: Akhil Arora/Gadgets 360
Instagram has announced a new programme called “Born on Instagram” in India, which it claims “will celebrate, discover and showcase creators in big and regional cities, and give them collaboration and mentorship opportunities.” Born on Instagram will roll out starting this year in 15 cities, though the Facebook-owned photo and video-sharing app didn't detail what those cities would be. Additionally, Instagram also unveiled a new content series called “Unlabel” in partnership with youth media platform Yuvaa, which features “young Indians challenging stereotypes to be their authentic selves” from cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, and Tura.
Facebook's director and head of partnerships in India, Manish Chopra, said “Born on Instagram” is about three key objectives: a) find more talent and help them create better content; b) connect them with the creators they love and follow, who will mentor them in turn; and c) recognise the fact that 'Instagram creator' is now a profession by itself. Chopra added: “Their talent is something that they're creating businesses around. They're living the life that way, be it a baker, a chef, a blogger, or a travel journalist. When they created businesses around whatever passions that they have, that's inspirational.”
Chopra claimed that careers birthed on Instagram are a complete reversal of what is said in the movies, where “parents tell kids ‘Beta, tum se yeh nahi hoga [This is beyond your capabilities, son]'. It's been proven wrong many, many times over. [Instagram] is a place where incredible new passions are coming to life, and people are making livelihoods and businesses around it. So ‘Born on Instagram' is a way to recognise that.”
“Instagram is gaining strong momentum both globally and in India,” Instagram's VP of Product, Vishal Shah, added in a prepared statement. “Much like Indian culture, passions pursued by Instagrammers here are the most diverse and represent urban and regional trends. This, combined with the way people freely express themselves on the platform, creates an amazing opportunity for creators and businesses here.”
For its “Unlabel” content series, Shah said they had to tell their post-production team to not use their traditional filters because they wanted it to look “raw”, in a reference to the airbrushing and retouching employed by businesses and professionals worldwide.
The announcements were made at the inaugural Instagram Experience (IGX) in Mumbai on Friday, which would host over 250 Instagram personalities later in the day, including the likes of actors Taapsee Pannu (Saand Ki Aankh) and Priya Varrier (Oru Adaar Love), and creators Mallika Dua, Pooja Dhingra, and Savi & Vid from Bruised Passports.