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Discovering — and telling — stories from around the world. Curated by Instagram’s community team.

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A father to twins Lucy and Orla, Francis Chan (@thisparentinglife), 44, blends family life with his love of travel, art and nature. But the visual designer from Vancouver, Canada, was fond of photography long before his daughters arrived eight years ago. He’s old-school digital. “I’ve been creating images around the time the digital camera came on the scene. I still remember using an Apple QuickTake in ‘96 and thinking this was the future.” He says traveling with his family helps him relearn and revisit everything he experienced as a child, only this time through their eyes. “I want to impart a sense of childlike wonder and excitement of the world to others,” says Francis. “I also want those parents with children to feel inspired to do things with their kids.”
Photo by @thisparentinglife
"Today we’re looking back on 2016 with our Year in Review. My favorite part of this year’s reflection is this list of the 10 most popular emojis, which are all positive and celebratory — sentiments that I hope only grow in 2017 as we continue to focus on being the safest and most welcoming place for self-expression." (Check out the full list below.) —Kevin Systrom (@kevin), Instagram co-founder and CEO
10. 💙
9. 🎉
8. ✌️
7. 👌
6. 😊
5. 💕
4. 😘
3. 😂
2. 😍
1. ♥️
A make-believe battle is memorialized in videographer Jon Nyquist’s (@thenyquist) submission to #WHPmagic. “If you find yourself bored in a hotel room like I did one day, have some fun,” says Jon. “Just don’t break anything.”
Photo by @thenyquist
Syamly Rushdi’s (@syamly) daughter ascends a Mars-like landscape in Melaka, Malaysia, for last weekend’s hashtag project, #WHPmagic. Syamly described the otherworldly location as “a great place for a short getaway from everything.”
Photo by @syamly
At just 18 years old, Val Weisler (@valiswiser) has brought together 6,000 teenagers from 105 countries to overcome challenges. “In my freshman year of high school, I was very shy and got bullied badly. People would put notes in my locker telling me to leave school, and would start rumors that I was mute. I thought, ‘They’re telling me that I’m not worth it, and maybe they’re right,’” recalls Val. “Getting out of bed became my biggest struggle. One day I saw another kid getting bullied at school. I walked up to him, and said, ‘You matter.’ He started to cry. He had nearly given up hope, but I had validated him.”
That night Val built her site, The Validation Project, and the letters from around the world started pouring in. Today, teens share their skills and struggles, and Val’s program partners them with mentors that include software engineers, former professional football players and leaders of social justice projects. “It’s all about that two-part validation,” explains Val, who was handpicked as an ambassador for the US State Department in order to further her mission. “First, showing my generation that we’ve got worth, and then teaching them how to use that worth to help others.”
Today, we’re joining Val by rolling out new tools to maintain the positivity and safety of our community. We are committed to keeping Instagram a welcoming place for self-expression.
#Boomerang by @valiswiser
After her record-setting performance at the 2016 Olympic Games, American gymnast Simone Biles (@simonebiles) found herself in the spotlight. “I haven’t paid any attention to the limelight, since I’ve been so busy,” says 19-year-old Simone, who grew up in Houston. “But it’s definitely a different feeling knowing that so many people watch what I do.” Many may have gotten caught up in the hype — but Simone has stayed grounded, with lots of support from her family and friends. “I just try to enjoy it and still be me, because the most important thing is to always be yourself.”
Today, we’re rolling out new tools to maintain the positivity and safety of our community. We are committed to keeping Instagram a welcoming place for everyone.
A Note from Kevin Systrom (@kevin):
In September, I shared our commitment to keeping Instagram a positive place for self-expression with the introduction of a keyword filter for comments. Today, I’d like to tell you about new commenting features that we’re launching. 
In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to turn off comments on any of your posts. Previously this was only available for a small number of accounts. You’ll be able to tap “Advanced Settings” then select “Turn Off Commenting.” You can also tap the ... menu any time after posting to turn comments back on. Also, we’re adding the ability to like comments by tapping a heart icon next to any comment. Liking lets you show support and encourages positivity throughout the community. 
These updates still mark the beginning. We will continue to work to maintain Instagram as a welcoming and safe place for everyone. 
To learn more about these tools and others, check out help.instagram.com. 
Kevin Systrom
Co-Founder & CEO
A leap in front of a candy-colored mural in Los Angeles leads to an unexpected twist. How many pairs of socks do you count in this #WHPmagic submission by @ari_fararooy?
Video by @ari_fararooy
A flick of the wrist illuminates a room in this spellbinding #Boomerang by @wesleytaylor. 💫 #WHPmagic
In Istanbul, Asli (@insearchofwonders) took her love of baking to new heights when she conjured this enchanted reaction to a bite of cake. 🍰✨
The goal of #WHPmagic was to bring magic to everyday life with surreal and imaginative photos and videos. Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions. 
Photo by @insearchofwonders
Hello, world! Meet today’s #WeeklyFluff, Alfie and Biscuit (@alfie.and.biscuit). These two mini lop twin bunnies live in London and love their treats. Follow @alfie.and.biscuit for more happy — and hoppy — moments in your feed. 🐰 🐰
2,600. That’s the number of unique cookie cutters that Patti Paige (@bakedideas) has shaped. It started when she couldn’t find the right acorn-shaped cutter for a customer’s request. Armed with icing in every color of the rainbow, Patti challenges herself to take an existing shape and transform it into something unexpected; an ice-cream cone metamorphoses into a caterpillar, or a baseball hat becomes a chair. “I like to make an outline of a cutter on a piece of paper and turn it this way and that until I start to see things differently,” says Patti, who is based in New York City. “A cookie cutter is just an outline that can suggest many different images if you focus on it and let your mind wander.” The festive parade of emojis and characters filling her photos may look perfect, but on closer inspection, each one is unique. “My goal is to make sure you can see the texture and imperfections in the icing and feel that the cookies are handmade,” she says. For #NationalCookieDay, Patti plans to get into the holiday spirit by filling her kitchen with the warm scent of gingerbread — and some surprising twists on familiar shapes.
Photo by @bakedideas