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Instagram & Nat Geo partner to connect strangers through images

Image sharing through social media is still gathering steam in India and Instagram is looking to nudge it forward in a recent campaign that it has embarked with in collaboration with National Geographic Channel. While the ‘Great Instagram Exchange’ initiative reckons the growth in the sector, essentially it is about using images to connect strangers through social media.

Instagram teamed up with National Geographic Channel to launch Great Instagram Exchange as a part of Nat Geo Moment Awards (NGMA), a photography contest in India. Through this campaign, Instagram seeks to give a peek into the lives of the users, share their love, passion, dreams with one another. Through #GreatInstagramExchange users can get to meet strangers, and then become friend through photographs that gave a peek into their world.

NGMA is a massive, open-to-all, annual competition organised by National Geographic Channel. The winner of the contest wins a paid photography assignment with National Geographic Channel.

“All of us have an innate desire to capture our favourite moments and share our view of the world with others. Through Moment Awards, we hope to encourage creativity and bring out the talent of a million amateur and aspiring photographers in the country. The contest is not about technical finesse but about a moment which can be very simple and touching,” said Debarpita Banerjee, Vice President, Marketing and Communication at NGC Networks and FOX International Channels.

The participation was not limited to India; Sri Lanka, Dubai, Malaysia also participated.

The start of NGMA was coincided with the launch of the first edition of the ‘Great Instagram Exchange’. Based on the lines of ‘Secret Santa’, users registered on the NGMA website to be assigned someone’s handle, while someone else got theirs.

Later these Instapartners dedicated pictures to each other for five days and showed them the way they see the world. These pictures also became entries for the Nat Geo Moment Awards, by just adding hashtag #NGMA in the caption.

“As an agency we always believed that NGMA had the power to unite people who loved illustrating their POV through pictures. We wanted to be able bring all these instagrammers together in the most surprising and engaging way, so through the property of NGMA, tthey could have a platform where they could bond, share, and forge friendships with each other,” said Parag Gandhi, Director of Flying Cursor, the digital agency for National Geographic Channel India.

The #GreatInstagramExchange saw over 3500 registrations in just four days. On Instagram, these were 5,500 posts with the hashtag #GreatInstagramExchange. Meanwhile Twitter gathered 2,000 tweets with hashtag #GreatInstagramExchange and 3,900,107 impressions.

“The biggest distinguishing factor was there was no reward for registering for the Great Instagram Exchange. We just asked people to share and swap their handles, because we wanted people to break barriers, boundaries and forge connections through their point of view on how they saw the world,” added Mr Gandhi.