March is Women’s History Month, a time where we recognize women’s critical role in history, while also acknowledging the significant women of today. This month, Instagram has added a few new features to celebrate the influential women in our communities.
To kick off the month, Instagram released new stickers for International Women’s Day on March 8. These stickers depict a diverse group of women and include images of women of different ethnicities and body types. They were designed by five artists to represent the experiences of mothers, queer and trans women, disabled women and healthcare workers. Instagram users can now add these stickers to their stories to share the artwork and the message behind them.
In addition to the stickers, Instagram has partnered with Bustle and has initiated multiple ways to highlight women-owned businesses throughout March. This collaboration includes shoutouts to small businesses through the Shop Instagram account and conversations with a number of female business owners through Reels and Instagram Lives. Instagram recently added a Shop tab that allows users to browse products through multiple different business accounts and shop directly through the app. As a part of the collaboration with Bustle, the app features the hashtag: #WomenOwned and has added a section to the Shop tab where they promote women-owned fashion brands. This is a way for these featured businesses to gain exposure and encourages Instagram users to support female entrepreneurs.
As another way to share the stories of women entrepreneurs, Instagram has come out with a video series called TogetHER. This three-part series focuses on the journeys of three women from around the world who have positively impacted their communities with their ideas.
Episode one introduces Simileoluwaa “Simi” Adebajo, owner of San Francisco’s first Nigerian restaurant, Eko Kitchen. After moving to San Francisco, Simi left her job to open her own restaurant and share with the city the meals of her culture. She has used her skills and compassion to cook meals for the homeless, the elderly and people affected by COVID-19. Episode two focuses on Ketty Valencio, owner of an Afro-Brazilian bookstore called Livraria Africanidades. Her goal is to share and celebrate the narratives of Black women and educate others about the importance of representation. Episode three shares the story of Lovern Gordeon, a survivor of domestic violence who started the Love Life Now Foundation. She uses the platform she has created to provide a support system for other victims and to become a voice for those who are not able to speak out.
This series goes into depth about these women’s experiences and explores how they were able to adapt to hardships and deal with gender disparities while running successful businesses.
Social media has become a common way to discover new things and these new features provide a great opportunity for small business owners and curious Instagram users alike. Instagram’s efforts to highlight women’s stories this Women’s History Month is a sure way to encourage others to recognize the impact of women in our communities.