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No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  4,956 ratings  ·  617 reviews
Award-winning reporter Sarah Frier reveals an inside, never-before-told, behind-the-scenes look at how Instagram defied the odds to become one of the most culturally defining apps of the decade.

Since its creation in 2010, Instagram’s fun and simple interface has captured our collective imagination, swiftly becoming a way of life. In No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagra
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 14th 2020 by Simon & Schuster
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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Instagram is an app that I probably use every day. I post what I'm drinking, what I'm reading, what I'm wearing, what I'm eating. I probably don't use it the way you're supposed to if you want to game the algorithm, but I've curated it in a way where posting there makes me happy. It's perhaps not as controversial as Twitter or Facebook, but its prominent "influencer" culture and "more perfect than perfect" lifestyle it embraces has led t
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
"No Filter" is a 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for best Science/Technology book.

As other reviewers have noted, it feels a bit like this year's "Bad Blood." Rather than following the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes's Theranos scam, readers are taken behind the scenes to see how Instagram was founded, acquired by Facebook, and subsequently became the monster social media behemoth it is today.

Frier is very successful in her goal of chronicling the INSIDE story of Instagram. As someone w
Elizabeth Moore
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating. I couldn’t put it down. One of those journalistic works of nonfiction that reads like a thrilling narrative (think Bad Blood for social media). The story of Instagram, and by extension Facebook, is intriguing and made me reframe the way I think about and use social media.
Laura Peden
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well that was enlightening! Behind the scenes look at comments, filters, algorithms, influencers, hashtags, stories and the people who created it all. I also learned a lot about Facebook & Zuckerberg and now I need to go take another shower because HE IS GROSS 🤮
Judith E
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I was engaged in the first half of this audio and I enjoyed hearing about instagram’s creator, Kevin Systrom’s background and his vision to curate creativity and beauty with his App. Even after Facebook acquired IG, Systrom and his staff were devoted to the artistic element, and not as highly motivated to solely make money, like Facebook.

The second half concentrated more on celebrity involvement and influencers and I can’t really identify with the need to sculpt buttocks to resemble a Kardashia
Katie/Doing Dewey
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Summary: I live for detailed, dialogue-filled narrative nonfiction like this, especially when it also comes with interesting questions about ethics in tech!

This is the story of the founding of Instagram, with a narrative based on numerous interviews with employees there and at Facebook. And, because Instagram was so quickly acquired by Facebook around the time of the 2016 election, this is also the story of Facebook. Of particular interest was how Facebook (doesn't) handle content moderation and
Laura Noggle
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, nonfiction
An inside look at Instagram — very interesting, and still shocking what people will “do for the 'Gram."

“The more you give up who you are to be liked by other people, it’s a formula for chipping away at your soul. You become a product of what everyone else wants, and not who you’re supposed to be.”
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-75-stars
Hardly anyone in the modern world can claim that he/she isn't on any social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp,... There is enough content on social networking for us to keep doomscrolling for hours on end.

A scarier aspect of this sacrifice of productivity and sleep is that three of the top social networking media (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp) are owned by Mark Zuckerberg under Facebook Inc. I can bet no one in the world knows as much about you as Zuckie & team do. (J
Alex Moskalyuk
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Pretty detailed and insightful read. Being told mainly by Instagram insiders, it's obviously one-sided, but far from being a boring corporate acquisition tale. Raises some important societal issues, and has quite a few examples of the law of unintended consequences kicking in at large scale. ...more
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you want to know the full history of Instagram, this is definitely the book you should read. I found out so many particularities about Instagram and Facebook as well. It’s a very well written book that explains the harsh reality behind the app Facebook bought a few years ago.
Richard FitzGerald
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Every social network has a seminal book, while some tell the stories of many, and of topics or people, there is usually one that stands out, how it’s packaged, the timing and usually the access
- Facebook - Accodental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook (Ben Mezrich, 2009), this one became The Social Network movie
- Snapchat - How to turn down a billion dollars: The Snapchat Story, (Billy Gallagher, 2017)
- Twitter - Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money Power Friendship and Bettayal - (Nick
Suhel Banerjee
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The 5 star rating is something I try to avoid as it invariably leads to the question of "Is it the best book you've ever read?" and there really shouldn't be a good answer for that. I treat the stars more as grades, and this is top grade stuff. Given my background in the same industry as the protagonists and subject of the book, there maybe some bias, but this is my Goodreads review anyway:)

I've been following Sarah Frier, tech journalist for Bloomberg, on my Twitter "Tech" list for a while now
John McCarthy
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
Turns out I don't care to know more about any of the social networks at this point. ...more
Alex Regan
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I find all the major Silicon Valley tech giants’ origin stories fascinating. Instagram is one of the few that feel different to me. The book does a great job of explaining the founders and what set them apart, while chronicling the Facebook acquisition’s dual catapulting/spoiling effect on IG. The book also does a great job of showing the founder influence on the culture inside the IG network, and how each evolution of the app changed that culture.
Manas Saloi
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lot of inside stories, from both early days of Instagram as well as final days of the founders at Facebook
Arash Azizzada
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
this book was a breeze to read through. its digestible but most importantly, is well sourced and gets the thoughts of some of the most important players inside Instagram. its obvious, the CEO kevin systrom spoke with frier at length for a decade plus. its also important to know that it relies heavily on his thinking. but I think I enjoyed reading this because social media has had such a signifcant impact on my life and that of the rest of us. we work around social media every single day, not the ...more
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"No Filter" is the latest in a line of social media origin stories, notably The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal and Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal. Sarah Frier’s look at Instagram may be the most well-rounded of them all, diving deep not just into the lives of the founders but also the people and businesses who have crafted their life around the service.

"No Filter" is a well-framed look at th
jasmine sun
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I began this book a bit worried about whether I was about to read another Silicon Valley hagiography. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that No Filter is as much a riveting tale of startup drama and Kevin Systrom's quirks—he's a craft coffee fanatic, for instance—as it is about how business and design decisions drive social products' human impact.

Early on, we learn that Systrom and his cofounder Mike Krieger are sticklers for detail. The pair were wary of growth hacks, believing that an un
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, biography
a super engaging book about the journey of Instagram: it was fascinating to read about the app's inception, its acquisition by Facebook, and the ways that it has changed the world. frier is fantastic at contrasting both the incredible impact and opportunity that Instagram has provided for users, as well as the toxic cultures that the app has created surrounding beauty, influence, and popularity, and she writes in a super accessible, engaging way. ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book, and am fortunate to know the author Sarah who's an amazing journalist! Especially as a Silicon Valley native / SF resident / Stanford CS grad / former LinkedIn PM native, I was delightfully brought back to memories of living through these times, feeling inspired by the Instagram story, and like many, building a growing love/hate relationship with this incredible app. Just this morning, I deleted the app :) (to manage my addiction, I download and delete the app for 15 ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is quite possibly the best book I've ever read about technology/social media. Sarah Frier provides an excellent account of how Instagram came to be the force it is today, and how it has changed both the world and human behavior. If you're skeptical, read the book!

Frier interviewed tons of Facebook and Instagram employees as well as celebrities, Instagram users, and more. Her insights are spot on, and I enjoyed the narrative of how Instagram started and the challenges of joining Facebook Inc
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Disappointing. Full of facts and told chronologically, this was simply dry and didn’t give much more than anyone can find on Wikipedia or from googling. It felt like someone who hardly used Instagram told this story, just reading off of sources. There was no drama, no excitement, and it lacked that spark that books about similar topics have had.

Also, shame on this audiobook. Not the author’s fault but the narrator pronounced nearly every celebrity’s name wrong. Five minutes of YouTube searching
Aug 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this book (in which Zuck is the clear villain) before the congressional whipping (I mean, hearing) of Zuck and the other monopolists for destroying competition. Having read this, I don't think it's clear that IG would have been as successful as it's been alone, but it is clear that they sold it too cheap. It made me respect Snap Evan for rejecting Zuck. The book also made me respect the Kardashians (I know...) for clearly understanding the power of IG before the rest of the world. ...more
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The more you give up who you are to be liked by other people, it’s a formula for chipping away at the soul, and you become a product of what everyone else wants, not who you’re supposed to be.”

Wise words- a great read for any active book club. Having grown up with these Social Media Apps, very cool to understand what was going on behind the scenes.
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I just enjoyed remembering. Points lost for no mention whatsoever of Bolt, and some glossing over of key points of view and details in the last third that I felt detracted from the otherwise well researched narrative.
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
I thought I was mindful of my social media consumption prior to reading this eye opening telling of Instagram and its buyer, Facebook. However, I will never look at these two social media giants the same again. Well worth the read to stay mindful of the potential hold social media can have.

Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Although the title of this book is 'No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram' it should have been called 'No Filter: the Inside Story of Facebook (and Mark Zukerberg's Fragile Ego).

The book goes through the birth of instagram as two co founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger built Burbn, a Foursquare esque app. The two received venture capital funding but Burbn evolved into what is today known as Instagram. After two short years Instagram started to get offers for a buyout, first from Twitter th
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“Gabriel photographed each dish to post on his Instagram story, while lamenting that his friends were so obsessed with sharing their lives, he wasn't sure if they were actually living them.”

I don't even know how to start writing this review. This book is so important. I've been trying to stay away from social media as much as possible, the only app I use is Facebook Messenger, but even that not gladly. I hate the fact that by using this I support Zuckerberg and willingly give my personal dat
Hussein Ebeid
Dec 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Reading this book in a critical view will make more sense of it

Post modernity and dehumanising and converting Human to a “Thing” Where our Data are consumed and exploited for commercial use.

Celebrities and social network influencer who are a real superficial characters are making money and generating traffic on this platform and any Other similar platforms while sharing and liking activities and our traffic usage are surveillance.

We have to stop this Dopamine Addiction that are reinforced by
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very detailed story of instagram from when it started up until the original CEOs resigned. I didn't know much of instagram's history so this was very enlightening.

This book does paint Facebook and Zuckerberg in a pretty bad light. Is it bias or well earned criticism of Facebook and its leader? it's actually really hard to say (which says a lot about public perception of Facebook)

Overall, the author provided pretty good insight into the vision that instagram really wanted for its app, and for
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“The more you give up who you are to be liked by other people, it’s a formula for chipping away at your soul. You become a product of what everyone else wants, and not who you’re supposed to be.” 5 likes
“A filter on Instagram was like if Twitter had a button to make you more clever.” 3 likes
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