First lady Michelle Obama made headlines and shared news as it happened with popular photo-sharing site, Instagram. The first lady visited China and chronicled her trip — along with the help of her aides — with a custom hashtag, #FLOTUSinChina, Time magazine reported Sunday. Instagram users can browse photos and short descriptions of Obama’s landing in Beijing and her visit to esteemed high school Beijing Normal School with Peng Liyuan, the wife of the Chinese president, among other images.
Obama also used the site to share her insights about the city of Beijing.
“While we loved our visit to the Forbidden City, we only wish we had more time to see everything. But then again, I’m not sure there could ever be enough time to fully appreciate all of the art and history within this extraordinary place,” Obama commented. During the same trip, Michelle Obama spoke to students at Peking University, where she talked about universal liberties. “When it comes to expressing yourself freely and worshiping as you choose and having open access to information, we believe those universal rights — they are universal rights that are the birthright of every person on this planet,” Obama said, according to Instagram.
The first lady described the trip as a “nonpolitical, people-to-people” venture, MSNBC added. She hoped using an accessible and popular medium, such as Instagram, would encourage people of all ages — especially younger users — tovirtually join her tour and learn more about China. “A visit like this is an important opportunity not just to share China’s rich history and culture with young people like you, but to connect you with the stories of young people in China. Young people who share many of the hopes and dreams as you,” Obama told PBS.
Recording the educational trip on Instagram is a unique — and refreshing — approach, especially in light of recent news that selfies may be responsible for keeping the social-sharing site alive. “If an image features a person’s face it is 38 percent more likely to be liked and 32 percent more likely to attract comments,” New York Daily News reported of a Georgia Institute of Technology study of selfies.
“Instagram and other photo and video sharing social media has transformed photography and allowed anyone with a smart phone to chronicle our personal and professional lives with a click,” explains Fred Tilner, Manager and Marketing Director of 42nd Street Photo. “However, quality photography is an art and a skill that takes years to master. We are still seeing demand for great cameras and we will always have a demand for great photographers.”