As someone that was brought up less than five minutes from my local library, reading was a big part of my childhood. Being introduced to the likes of Harry Potter and Of Mice & Men saw me whittle away hours with my head buried in books in my youth. It’s sad to hear then that research by the American Psychological Association has found that social media has come to dominate the teenage lifestyle so much that a third of US adolescents can go a year without reading a book for pleasure.
Instead of admitting defeat though, New York Public Library realised the opportunity this creates and carved out an inspiring campaign that we absolutely love – Insta Novels. As the name suggests, the campaign is a reimagining of Instagram Stories to provide a new platform for people to enjoy classic literature they may otherwise have never experienced.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was selected as the story to launch the campaign, with the story uploaded in full and animated by influential designer Magoz. It’s safe to say the campaign has been a resounding success. On the launch day alone, New York Public Library’s Instagram Stories gained 450,000 impressions and earned them a staggering 7,100 additional followers – 56 times its usual growth rate.
This isn’t a case of one and done either. It’s already been announced that The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka will be uploaded in the near future too. The agency behind the campaign has also suggested the aim is to eventually bring all books to Instagram to create a full “Insta-library”. If it brings classic literature and stories by up-and-coming authors to a new audience the world over, then we’re all for it.