No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram

S.&.S.. Apr. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781982126803. $28. TECH.
This investigation into Instagram delves deep into the beginnings of the company and how the app has come to be what it is today. From its founder’s missed opportunity to partner with Mark Zuckerberg in the early days of Facebook to Facebook eventually acquiring Instagram, journalist Frier shares all in this accessible account. Frier’s information came from sources within the company, both those who spoke on the record and those who spoke anonymously, but this is not a book of quotes and interviews. Readers get a full time line of the original coding of the app that would eventually become Instagram, from its founding in 2010 to how it was used for propaganda during the 2016 election to today, when the number of “likes” on photos can cause pressure on users. Each chapter begins with a quote from an Instagram executive or celebrity that sets the tone for the chapter, and Frier keeps readers hooked into this world of high-stakes technology.
VERDICT More than a story of coding, ethics, and the public’s use of social media. Frier weaves a gripping narrative of the power of technology that all readers can appreciate.
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