The phrase “Do it for the ’gram” has become extremely popular among the tech-savvy Generation Z, born in the 1990s and early 2000s and raised on social media. An escalation of the now long-established selfie, this colloquialism refers to the behavior of doing something specifically for the sake of posting a picture on Instagram. Publishing polished pictures for the sake of popularity does not merely apply to activities like brewing kombucha or practicing yoga, however, but in posting inspirational micro-poems. The extremely visual short-form genre of Instapoetry boasts 14.2 million posts to #poetsofinstagram alone, yet this so-called fidget-spinner literature has received little scholarly attention. While some magazines have featured the well-known Rupi Kaur, no academic work to date has extensively analyzed the aesthetics and cultural antecedents of Instapoetry. This article combines quantitatively collected data of common trends with in-depth analysis of case studies featured in Instagram's “Top 9” to show how the material and linguistic features of Instapoetry are in fact shaped and assimilated by their digital platform. By manually analyzing Instapoets’ practices in writing, stylization, and promotion, the author demonstrates that the sheer volume and rapidity of content production in turn encourages posts that are not only visually appealing but also immediately recognizable as Instapoems. Conforming to generic trends while simultaneously claiming genuineness and autonomy is a crucial method of increasing followers in a culture in which rapid swiping instantly consumes and buries masses of content. Examining the constant evolution of algorithmic “gatekeepers” and the pressures of the creative economy also contextualizes the challenges ingrained in creating “authentic” discourse on this heteronomous visual platform.

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