How do we curate the feed of raw nature, worldly wonder, and global adventure that 83.7 million people follow on the National Geographic Instagram account? We don't. All we do is share our password with a hundred of our favorite photographers and encourage them to post often (but not too often)—and somehow, it works.
Photography isn't best described in statistics and numbers, but we can say that 2017 was another year of growth. We gained more than 17 million new followers, logged 6.1 million comments, and totaled 1.4 billion likes. We continued to grow our issue-area accounts, including @NatGeoTravel and @NatGeoAdventure. We saw new photographers join our photo community, Your Shot. And we crowned new winners in our 2017 Nature and Travel Photographer of the Year contests. Altogether, this reach allows us to share National Geographic's original mission—"to explore the world and all that's in it"—with more people, in more places, every day.
Here are our 18 most-liked Instagram images from 2017. All received well over a million likes, crowdsourcing their way to the top. We have high standards for our photos, and our readers, thankfully, do too.