On 8 Nov 2021, an Instagram trend bloomed through the corners of popular social media platform Instagram that claimed to plant a tree for every picture of a pet. What began as a fun tree-planting campaign has currently gone viral. More than four million Instagram users shared pictures of their pets along with a sticker that said, “We’ll plant a tree for every pet pic.”
With millions of reposts, the ‘tree-planting’ campaign for each pet picture has become the latest Instagram trend and has been flooding through Instagram stories. When a plethora of confusion spiked amongst the users, an Instagram page came forward and took the responsibility of being the initiator of the fun tree-planting campaign. On 9 Nov 2021, the page shared the series of the events and the aftermath via an Instagram post, along with how they undertook the responsibility of their claim.
Chronology of the Instagram Trend
On 2 Nov 2021, an Instagram page ‘Plant A Tree Co.’ posted a story using the latest Instagram feature ‘Add Yours’ story as a fun tree-planting campaign where people could show off their pet pictures and the page will plant a tree for every pet picture.
According to their latest Instagram clarification post, the page deleted it 10 minutes subsequent to posting after realizing that the post will gain huge visibility. They also claimed to lack the resources for fulfilling their commitment. “We immediately realized the post would grow too big and that we didn’t have the resources to plant that many trees, so we deleted it 10 minutes later.”
Although the page deleted it, the story kept streaming through people’s Instagram stories—reaching millions of reposts. Moreover, the page’s credit apparently got eliminated due to a probable Instagram bug.
For making a lasting impact, Plant A Tree Co. is currently using the awareness and therefore created a fundraiser to raise money towards another Instagram page, ‘Trees For The Future’ that is dedicated to planting trees.
Questions on Authenticity
The Plant A Tree Co. was created in 2021. There is little to zero information available regarding the page and its vision, mission, and business model. According to their Instagram page, they sell necklaces and plant a tree for every purchase. Additionally, their posts also claim that they have planted 6500 trees so far and there is no information available regarding the venues and timings of the planting.
According to a recent article by NBC News, Plant A Tree Co. is accused of deceiving its followers, and various people pointed out that the company has a history of creating trends around false promises. The accusation stems from a post that was shared by the creator of the page Zack Saadioui of Florida who shared it in 2019 when he was a junior in college.
“I understand where they’re coming from, as we have made unintentional mistakes in the past,” Saadioui said. “We addressed it, stopped the post, and stated that it would be impossible to plant.” As a result, he said, the latest controversy has “set a negative tone” for his company, which he “intended to be for a great cause.”
Nuances of “We’ll Plant A Tree for Every Pet Pic”
The latest Instagram trend has received mixed responses from the audience. Although the post claims good intentions and has so far received overwhelming responses, the Twitter threads on the entire fiasco speak otherwise. Several people have tweeted questioning the authenticity of the fundraiser and the charity/Instagram page that is being involved regarding the direction of the received funds.