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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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Announcing Worldwide InstaMeet 10: October 4-5

For more information on how to find a #WWIM10 InstaMeet near you, visit our new Community site. Check out our Behind the InstaMeet series for practical tips on organizing a meet-up of your own!

On the weekend of October 4-5, join fellow Instagrammers around the world to celebrate #WWIM10, the 10th Worldwide InstaMeet. Gareth Pon (@garethpon), a filmmaker and photographer from Johannesburg, South Africa, started organizing InstaMeets in 2012 as “a fun way to discover the city and sneak into some unique places.”

“It became an awesome way to meet people and explore the common passion of photography,” he says. “The most special thing is being able to see people from so many different walks of life coming together and either discovering their creativity (that they never knew they had) or expressing their creativity among friends who share a common passion.”

Here are Gareth’s top tips for creating a great InstaMeet:

  • “Scout for good locations: People love exploring new places and the more photo opportunities the better!
  • Consider the time of day: We try always organize InstaMeets during “magic hour” for the best light.
  • “Create something shareable: I’ll always make what we call an ‘infogram’ to let everyone know there is a meet. The infogram usually has an image of the location with overlaid text of the location, time, date and hashtag. I then write up a short caption and add them temporarily to a blog post for anyone to download and post. That way people can easily spread the news about the InstaMeet.”
  • “Capture your InstaMeet: Besides always smiling and being friendly, I highly recommend documenting your InstaMeets. I try to capture the vibe of the meet in a little film or highlights video to extend the experience and I can use these videos as ways to promote future instameets.”

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@garethpon’s “Take Us To Jozi”

South African Instagrammers Gareth Pon (@garethpon) and Miklas Manneke (@miklasmanneke) filmed a short documentary about Instagrammers in Johannesburg. Check out their film, “Take Us To Jozi,” to meet members of the South African community and see the city through their eyes.

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Spotlight: South Africa

Since launching, we’ve seen Instagram spread from our headquarters in the Bay Area to every corner of the globe. In this series, Spotlight, we’ll highlight top users from countries and cities with thriving Instagram communities.

South Africa, the African continent’s southernmost country, boasts 11 official languages, three capital cities and some of the most photogenic landscapes in the world. Instagrammers both homegrown and from abroad have given outsiders a glimpse into this vast and diverse country, from the Namib desert in the northwest to the subtropical forests in the east to the coastline that stretches over 1700 miles (2700km).

Want an insider’s view of South Africa? Follow these locals to see the country through their lens.

  • Ofentse Mwase, a cinematographer snapping photos from Johannesburg and its outskirts — @unclescrooch
  • Alessio La Ruffa, taking beautiful photos in and around Pretoria — @alessiolr
  • Ross Pickford, a software developer sharing photos from Cape Town — @roscoedude
  • Gareth Pon, a filmmaker photographing Johannesburg’s cityscapes — @garethpon

To explore the country in depth, you can also browse the location pages for some of South Africa’s most popular destinations:

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Robben Island: Symbol of South Africa, Past and Present

For more photographs from Instagrammers who’ve visited Robben Island, check out the Robben Island location page.

The Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday in South Africa held every year on December 16. The holiday was introduced in 1994 after the end of apartheid to foster reconciliation and national unity.

One of the biggest symbols of apartheid’s history is Robben Island. Starting with the Dutch settlement of the Cape in the mid-1600s, Robben Island was used primarily as a prison. Many anti-apartheid political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela (who is recovering in hospital) and current President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, served decades-long sentences at Robben Island. Prisoners there were segregated by race, with black political prisoners receiving the fewest rations and privileges. Mandela was a D-group prisoner, the lowest classification, and was allowed one visitor and one letter every six months during his 18 years there.

Since 1997, Robben Island has been a museum and heritage site. Visitors to the island take a boat from Cape Town and tour the grounds with former Robben Island inmates who share their own stories.