Celebrate Mardi Gras 2020 with exclusive new features on Facebook & Instagram available today!

Facebook and Instagram’s “Your Voice Matters” campaign celebrates LGBTQ+ stories and communities, empowering queer expression, and fostering safety across the platforms. Instagram will also return to the Parade with a show-stopping float, showcasing how our platforms enable Australians to use their voice and share ‘what matters’ to them and the people they care about.

After the overwhelming popularity of ​rainbow hashtags, launched for Mardi Gras last year, Instagram is bringing this feature back to the platform for all Australians. We’ve identified o​ver ​50 LGBTQ+ hashtags​ in collaboration ACON—including #MardiGras2020, #WhatMatters, and #LoveWins—and when you use any of them in your caption they’ll appear as an unmissable rainbow gradient.

For the first time, they’re also b​ringing the rainbow to Instagram Stories​! When you use any of the LGBTQ+ hashtags in a Stories post, your story ring will turn rainbow while the photo or video is live for 24 hours.

Facebook is launching a s​pecial Mardi Gras animation,​ exclusively in Australia, which will play every time someone shares ‘Happy Mardi Gras’ in a post. This new animation features a rainbow heart to represent the LGBTQ+ community, and a celebration of the flags and icons that are unique to Sydney Mardi Gras. You will see the animation when you make a post that includes ’Happy Mardi Gras’, and you can tap the highlighted phrase and play the animations as many times as you like. You can also tap others posts that include the phrase and play their animations, even if you don’t make your own.

All new features will ​begin rolling out today,​ and should be available to all Australians in the coming days.

To ensure that LGBTQ+ people know the tools to keep them safe and supported, we’ve partnered with ACON and Trans Pride Australia on​ a​ guide to online well-being and safety. Safe and Strong: An LGBTQ+ Guide to Facebook and Instagram​ launches today on ​ACON’s website​, and is designed to showcase the safety features across the platform to protect and support people that may be the most vulnerable on social media platforms. To download the Guide, visit www.acon.org.au/safeandstrong.

“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,” said Mia Garlick, Head of Policy, Facebook Australia. “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.”

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