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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Top Locations on Instagram in 2013

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s once again time to look back on another amazing year on Instagram. It’s inspiring to see moments shared from all around the world, whether it’s a photo from your hometown or a video from your vacation. We took a look at the location trends to find the most-Instagrammed places of 2013.

Like last year, a popular location in Thailand tops the list. The Siam Paragon (สยามพารากอน)—a massive shopping complex, movie theater and aquarium in Bangkok—was our top spot, edging out 2012’s most-Instagrammed place, Bangkok’s International Airport. Suvarnabhumi Airport dropped to number nine, while the Eiffel Tower dropped off the top-ten list altogether. (See more from last year’s list here.)

New to the most-popular list in 2013: Walt Disney World, High Line and Central Park in New York City and the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas.

The Most-Instagrammed Locations of 2013

  1. Siam Paragon (สยามพารากอน) shopping mall, Bangkok, Thailand
  2. Times Square, New York
  3. Disneyland, California
  4. Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas
  5. Disney World Florida
  6. Staples Center, Los Angeles
  7. Central Park, New York
  8. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
  9. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) ท่าอากาศยานสุวรรณภูมิ, Bangkok, Thailand
  10. The High Line, New York

In the course of the past year, we’ve seen Instagram continue to grow across the globe. We’ve been amazed to see the community thrive in places like Indonesia, Russia and Brazil. 60% of Instagrammers are now sharing photos and videos from outside of the United States, so we wanted to also share the most-Instagrammed cities in the world.

The Most-Instagrammed Cities of 2013

  1. New York City, NY, USA
  2. Bangkok, Thailand
  3. Los Angeles, CA, USA
  4. London, UK
  5. São Paulo, Brazil
  6. Moscow, Russia
  7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  8. San Diego, CA, USA
  9. Las Vegas, NV, USA
  10. San Francisco, CA, USA

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Introducing Instagram Direct

Watch Instagram’s co-founder Kevin Systrom announce Instagram Direct on our livestream video here.

Today, we’re excited to bring you Instagram Direct, a new way to send photo and video messages to friends.

Over the past three years, the Instagram community has grown to over 150 million people capturing and sharing moments all around the globe. As we’ve grown, Instagram has evolved not only into a community of photographers, but also into a means of visual communication. From a photo of your daily coffee to a sunrise shared from the top of a mountain hike, every Instagram moment contains something you find special—something you broadcast to your followers when you tap “share.”

There are, however, moments in our lives that we want to share, but that will be the most relevant only to a smaller group of people—an inside joke between friends captured on the go, a special family moment or even just one more photo of your new puppy. Instagram Direct helps you share these moments.

From how you capture photos and videos to the way you start conversations through likes and comments, we built Instagram Direct to feel natural to the Instagram experience you already know. When you open Instagram, you’ll now see a new icon in the top right corner of your home feed. Tap it to open your inbox where you’ll see photos and videos that people have sent to you. To send a photo or video to specific people, tap the camera button to enter the same simple photo or video capture and editing screens. At the top of the share screen, you’ll see the option to share with your followers (“Followers”) or to send to specific people (“Direct”). To send using Direct, tap the names of the people you want to send your photo or video to, write your caption, tap “send” and you’re done.

After sending, you’ll be able to find out who’s seen your photo or video, see who’s liked it and watch your recipients commenting in real time as the conversation unfolds.

Photos and videos that you receive from people you follow will appear immediately. If someone you’re not following sends you a photo or video on Instagram, it will go to your requests so you can decide if you want to view it.

To learn more about Instagram Direct, check out help.instagram.com.

Instagram for iOS version 5.0 is available today for download in Apple’s App Store, and Instagram for Android version 5.0 is available today on Google Play. Instagram for Windows Phone is in beta. Stay tuned for future updates.

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Giving Thanks as Holidays Collide

Thursday marked a once-in-a-lifetime holiday as Thanksgiving and the first full day of Hanukkah shared the same calendar date for the first time since 1888, a confluence that won’t occur again for tens of thousands of years.

Images of turkeys and latkes—and even an occasional “menurky"—from around the world flooded our Instagram feeds as friends and families gathered to celebrate and share these special holiday events.

We saw record usage as Instagrammers shared a heaping helping of holiday cheer. Your Thanksgiving and Hanukkah-related photos and videos helped make yesterday our busiest day on Instagram so far.

We continue to be inspired by our community and are truly humbled that so many of you choose to capture and share your holiday moments on Instagram. So from the Instagram team to you, we say “thank you.” We hope you enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.

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Introducing Instagram for Windows Phone

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Today, we’re excited to bring you Instagram for Windows Phone.

When we launched Instagram for Android in March of 2012, the community was 30 million strong and growing fast. The Instagram community is now more than 150 million people and reaches every corner of the globe.

In that past year, however, Instagram isn’t all that’s grown. We’ve also seen the rise of a new mobile platform as tens of millions of people around the world have taken to Windows Phones. Our mission is to give everyone the ability to capture and share the moments around them, so our team has been working hard to bring Instagram to Windows Phone users everywhere.

We wanted to make Instagram available to people with Windows Phones as quickly as possible, so we focused on creating an awesome experience with Instagram’s core features. We’re not finished, and our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram possible.

Instagram is a place where people come to be inspired and connect with others, and we’re thrilled to welcome Windows Phone users to the community. We can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

Learn more about Instagram for Windows phone at help.instagram.com and download it today from the Windows Phone Store!

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A Look at Ads on Instagram

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A few weeks ago, we shared our plans to introduce advertising on Instagram. Today, we want to provide a few more details about exactly what ads on Instagram will look like.

If you’re in the United States, you’ll see the sample ad above sometime in the coming week. This is a one-time ad from the Instagram team that’s meant to give you a sense for the look and feel of the ads you will see.

You’ll know a photo or video is an advertisement when you see the “Sponsored” label where the time stamp normally would be. Tap this label to learn more about how advertising works on Instagram.

We want ads to be creative and engaging, so we’re starting with just a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community. If you see an ad that doesn’t interest you, you can tap the “…” below it to hide it and provide feedback about what you didn’t like. This will help us show you more interesting ads in the future.

Our focus with every product we build is to make Instagram a place where people come to connect and be inspired. Building Instagram as a business will help us better serve the global—and ever growing—Instagram community, while maintaining the simplicity you know and love.

As always, you own your own photos and videos. The introduction of advertising won’t change this. If you have other questions about how advertising on Instagram works, you can learn more here.

Thanks for listening and for being a part of the Instagram community.

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