- The New York Public Library partnered with ad agency Mother in New York to bring digital novels and classic literature to Instagram, the Facebook-owned image-sharing app with more than 1 billion users worldwide. “Insta Novels” launched this week on the library’s @nypl Instagram account with a digitized version of the Lewis Carroll classic “Alice in Wonderland,” according to a statement.
- The library plans to upload books, short stories and novellas to Instagram Stories, a feature in the app that links together several images into a single post. Instagram users can hold a digital page in place by resting their thumbs on a mobile device’s touchscreen, and turn the page by lifting their thumbs.
- According to USA Today, about 40,000 people read “Alice in Wonderland” in its entirety on the image-sharing platform. The library this year plans to publish “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the feminist short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, with original illustrations by Buck (@buck_design), and “Metamorphosis,” the novella by Franz Kafka, illustrated by César Pelizer (@cesarpelizer).
The New York Public Library’s “Insta Novels” program may help to expand the library’s reach to the next generation of readers who are more likely to consume media on smartphones. The library has adapted to the digital age by offering electronic books on e-reader devices, podcasts and updates to its website to help people find a wide range of information and data resources.
The success of the “Alice in Wonderland” Insta Novel bodes well for the project. The New York library system actually has a strong social media following with 2.5 million Twitter users who follow the library’s book recommendation podcast, which also has 300,000 likes on Facebook and 215,000 on Instagram, per USA Today.
The success of the library’s program may prompt other publishers to consider Instagram as a platform for reaching readers with current books that aren’t off copyright. Instagram has made a strong push to urge media companies to create content for its platform, although most of those efforts focus on sponsored posts and video that can be supported with advertising revenue.