With over 4 million people using the Add Yours sticker on Instagram to post pictures of their pets to support tree plantation, the campaign has grown manifold.
According to various media reports, Plant A Tree Co. has been alleged to be scamming people. This article does not support or endorse their practices. Our intention is to simply document the phenomenon Instagram users witnessed in the last few days. Reader discretion is advised.
Experimenting with the new Add Yours sticker on Instagram, the team behind Plant A Tree Co. posted a story on November 2, 2021, stating: “We’ll plant one tree for every pet picture.” What they didn’t realise is how far it would go. Within ten minutes, it was apparent that the sticker had gone viral with people sharing pictures of their pets in support of tree plantation. Since they didn’t have the resources to plant so many trees, they deleted the original story. However, by then, it had spread significantly — with over 4 million people joining the movement in the week that followed.
“Even though we deleted it, a week later, out of nowhere, the stories continued to spread out of our control, reaching millions of reposts,” the page later said in a post. To ensure this virality won’t get wasted, they turned it into a crowdfunding request for Trees For The Future, an organisation dedicated to planting trees. They hope for this to end up in the 4 million trees getting planted.
Add Yours is one of the most recent features launched by Instagram. It had first gone viral, with thousands of users posting pictures of the best sunsets they had ever experienced. At the time, the feature was only available for select users. They could only participate in an ongoing sticker trend, not start it.
Ever since the sticker became available for all, there has been a sharp increase in users, creators, and brands experimenting with it. One of the prominent examples would be Zomato’s ‘Drop a picture of the best thing you ever cooked’. There is a lot of potential in this feature, one people are only beginning to tap on.
There are some issues too. Say an account started a sticker trend. They would see the submissions by all the accounts that directly upload a picture and reshare the sticker. The second set of audiences who would see their stories would pick it from there. However, these stories will not be displayed as responses to the original creator’s sticker. These would only be displayed as responses to the second set of participants, thus creating layers or posts that are linked and yet not linked to each other. While this helps in safeguarding the privacy details of each participating accounts, it may put a dent in the overall magnitude of the trend.
If the original creator were to delete their post, Instagram strips off the credit for the sticker trend but lets it reach more people, as it happened in the case of Plant A Tree Co. Even though they deleted their post within ten minutes, it did reach millions of people anyway. They, however, did not get the credit for it.
While arguably Add Yours sticker has great potential — especially for crowdfunding — it is still a territory that needs to be gauged by participants and Instagram itself. The response it has got so far was perhaps unprecedented for the team, which now seems to be working on streamlining things. It would indeed be interesting to see how things progress.