Since 1888, National Geographic has traveled the Earth, sharing its amazing stories with each new generation. Today, National Geographic continues this rich tradition by embracing social media to share stories and engage its members (and audiences) around the globe. With more than 20 million fans across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube, Instagram was a perfect fit to share the high-quality visual storytelling that audiences have come to expect. National Geographic was Instagram’s first brand partner, taking the time to listen and learn about the developing community before posting its first image in March 2012. The first post ushered in an approach to generate one simple question with each photo that followed: “What’s next?" And since then @NatGeo Instagrams have generated more than 23 million likes and comments.On March 23, 2012, National Geographic launched its Instagram account with a simple photo of statues of Ganesh, a Hindu god, Buddha and an owl, in Nepal. Very quickly @NatGeo followers would learn that it marked the beginning of an epic journey: climbing the highest summit in the world, Mt. Everest. #OnEverest utilized the 3G network on the mountain allowing explorers and photographers to bring followers along in a real-time (or occasionally near-time, when hotspot connections on the mountain delayed posts) effort to summit the peak. From the moment the team set out, followers became immersed in the expedition as it unfolded. With ninety photos National Geographic was able to deliver a sense of immediacy that only Instagram could provide. The climb included an iconic self-portrait of Emily Harrington at the summit of Everest at 8,848 meters (29,035 feet), with Emily exclaiming “What a climb it’s been!" Her achievement made one @NatGeo follower cheer that the image was “beyond words—I love Instagram and Nat Geo for allowing me to live vicariously!" Building on the pioneering success of #OnEverest, control of the @NatGeo account was handed over to more than 40 National Geographic photographers and explorers to share photos from the field, whether on assignment or just walking around their neighborhood. With every new photo followers are left wondering “What’s Next?" From a portrait of a 7-year old Kyrgyz girl with cheeks burned by the bitter cold to the record rains flooding Jakarta's central business district to hanging out with climbers suspended from the face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, CA. A photo of a cloud covered Machu Picchu in the Andes of Peru generated more than 101,000 likes and 1,600 comments. It caused one follower to reminisce about a previous visit and the “feeling of ruins coming into view for the first time," something one would never forget. It caused another follower to dream of staying “there a week or so, to get a glimpse at what it may have been like to live there." Each image draws out a multitude of feelings and perspectives in followers which fosters dialogue and encourages newly formed connections. More than 1,000 photos have been posted attracting more than 1 million followers to the @NatGeo account. And this is just the beginning. #LetsExplore!
National Geographic photographers and explorers sharing photos from around the globe include: Aaron Huey, Charlie Hamilton James, Cory Richards, Dave Yoder, David Alan Harvey, David Burnett, David Coventry, David Guttenfelder, Ed Kashi, George Steinmetz, Ira Block, Jim Richardson, Jimmy Chin, John Stanmeyer, Jonas Bendiksen, Ken Geiger, Lynsey Addario, Martin Schoeller, Matthieu Paley, Melissa Farlow, Michael Melford, Michael Yamashita, Paul Nicklen, Peter Essick, Randy Olson, Robert Clark, Stefano Unterthiner, Stephanie Sinclair, Stephen Alvarez, Steve Winter, Tim Laman, Tomas van Houtryve, and others.
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