Facebook and Instagram reveal a new range of features to celebrate the 2020 Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

To celebrate the upcoming Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Facebook and Instagram have rolled out a number of new features.

Facebook has worked with the Sydney Mardi Gras and LGBTQ+ health organisation ACON on identifying over 50 hashtags related to the parade which will trigger the new features, including #MardiGras2020, #WhatMatters, and #LoveWins.

Rainbow hashtags have returned to Instagram and the Stories icon has been turned technicolour

Returning for 2020 are the rainbow hashtags which launched for Mardi Gras last year. When any Instagram Stories use one of the LGBTQ+ hashtags, the ring around a user’s profile photo will become a rainbow.

Over on Facebook, an animation of a rainbow heart will appear on users’ screens every time someone shares a ‘Happy Mardi Gras’ post. A star falls out of the top of the screen and into the rainbow heart, and a rainbow flag is revealed.

ACON, Instagram, Facebook and Trans Pride Australia have also developed a guide to online wellbeing and safety for LGBTQI+ people. ‘Safe and Strong: An LGBTQ+ Guide to Facebook and Instagram’ launches today on ACON’s website, outlining the safety features across the platforms that can protect and support members of the community.

The guide will be available on ACON’s website

Mia Garlick, head of policy for Facebook Australia, said: “We’re celebrating the vibrant LGBTQ+ communities that call Facebook and Instagram home, and who use our platforms everyday to connect with their communities and support one another.

“As part of our ongoing partnership with Sydney Mardi Gras, we’re launching our ‘Your Voice Matters’ campaign to empower LGBTQ+ expression, highlight the inspiring stories of our local community, and foster safety across the platform.”

Nicolas Parkhill, CEO of ACON, said: “ACON want to make sure the social media experiences of people in our communities are positive.

“That’s why we worked with Facebook and Instagram, in partnership with Trans Pride Australia, to develop this new guide to support your wellbeing, help you stay safe, and practice self-care online. Facebook and Instagram provide great opportunities for our communities to connect with and support each other, exchange ideas, access resources and share information. We hope this guide helps in making your online experience enriching and empowering.”

The campaign follows Instagram’s push into body positivity with its #TheWholeMe campaign, that launched in December last year.


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