Instagram celebrates 5-year anniversary at iconic Burj Al Arab

This week Instagram’s Amy Cole headed to Dubai to celebrate its five-year anniversary with the local community. Amy, Instagram’s sixth employee, came to Dubai to take part in the company’s 12th Worldwide InstaMeet and to view an exciting projection on the Burj Al Arab alongside some of Instagram’s most inspiring local community members.

Amy’s trip follows Instagram’s recent announcement to make advertising available to more businesses, marketers in the MENA region will now be able to share inspiring and creative ads with Instagram’s 400 million community members worldwide. 

“People are communicating visually and using images to experience the world around them, and this is incredibly true in the UAE and Middle East,” said Amy Cole, Brand Development Lead EMEA, Instagram. “With the high smartphone penetration in the Middle East, these devices in our pockets have caused a shift in communication, from words to images. With 80 million photos posted to Instagram every day, if something is happening, it’s likely being captured on Instagram.”

“Whether it’s a local store or a global brand, businesses want reach a captive audience and a community of people looking to be inspired. With our roots in authentic and visual storytelling, we provide the platform for businesses of all sizes to do their best work and to push the boundaries of their creative, and thousands of businesses across the MENA region are doing just that. Now, Instagram ads are available in more than 30 countries including the UAE, KSA and Egypt, so businesses have a highly engaged, creative canvas to reach and inspire people,” Cole continued.

Already Instagram has seen innovative advertising from local brands, including American Eagle, L’Oreal, Mondelez, Nestle, P&G, PepsiCo, Souq.com, Starbucks, Saudi Telecom Company, Unilever, Visa and Zain. Instagram is another creative canvas for marketers in MENA that drives real business results, as Instagram demonstrates promising results from European campaigns this past year, with a 17 point average ad recall lift and 2.8x higher ad recall than Nielsen norms.

“People come to Instagram to experience the world through images, find inspiration, and connect through shared passions. This backdrop sets Instagram up to be a powerful mobile advertising platform for businesses and marketers globally. Our launch partners have already inspired people with their creative storytelling, and we’re excited to see what else brands in the Middle East and North Africa will bring to the community,” said Jonathan Labin, Head of Facebook MENA.

Five years of Instagram

In the five years since its launch, more than 40 billion photos have been shared and everyday 3.5 billion likes are generated on Instagram. Of Instagram’s 400 million member base, more than 75 percent of users are based outside of the U.S., particularly in the MENA region which has seen exponential smartphone adoption. 

To celebrate this milestone, members of the Instagram community in Dubai came together for an Instawalk at the iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel to coincide with Instagram’s 12th Worldwide InstaMeet. This year the Worldwide InstaMeet fell just before the Instagram community’s birthday on 6 October. To celebrate the vibrant, diverse and global community that has grown since Instagram launched just five short years ago, people all over the world came together to take pictures and meet new people on the hashtag #WWIM12.

The #WWIM12_Burj InstaMeet was led by Mounir Lakkis, Head of Engineering at the Burj Al Arab, the Instagram community, including noted photographers Elia Locardi (USA), Yacob Ahli (UAE) and Ahmad El-Abi (Egypt), received an intimate tour of the property, capturing the various intricacies that have made it a world-class design marvel.  

The iconic Instagram logo was also projected on the façade of the Burj Al Arab giving residents of Dubai a moment to capture and share with the worldwide community. To view images from the Dubai Instawalk and relive Instagram’s fifth anniversary, simply search for #WWIM12_Burj. Follow the Worldwide InstaMeet around the world at #WW12.

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