Sydney's Mardi Gras is just around the corner and to celebrate, Facebook and Instagram are unloading some fun new features and only Australians will be able to access them.
The 2020 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival is one of the world's biggest celebrations of the LGBTQIA+ community, which runs from February 13 to March 1 with the big parade on Saturday, February 29, and like every extravaganza, you're probably going to want to share the best moments on social media.
Knowing this, Facebook and Instagram have teamed up with sexual health organisation ACON to offer some new rainbow features in the lead up to the big parade.
When Instagram users use more than 50 popular LGBTQIA+ hashtags in captions, such as #Pride, #LoveWins and #MardiGras2020, the hashtag will turn rainbow. If you use one of the LGBTQIA+ hashtags in an Instagram Story, it will turn your stories circle rainbow for the 24-hour duration.
For Facebook users, a new animation will run any time someone writes "Happy Mardi Gras", similar to the congratulations animations that play. It'll feature an explosion of rainbow flags as well as a rainbow heart.
"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," Facebook Australia's head of policy, Mia Garlick, said in a press release.
"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."
The social media sites have also dished the places in Australia where the rainbow emoji was used most in the past three months. Naturally, the top cities were Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane but smaller regional towns like Ipswich made the cut too.
- Gold Coast
- Sunshine Coast
The new features are live now and will be available until March 2 when the festival period ends.
Image Cache: Photographer Annette Widitz has received eight honourable mentions in the Mobile Photography Awards over the past two years, and was a finalist in the 2016 Head On Photo Festival's Mobile Prize. Here's some of her images from this weekend's Mardi Gras.