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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2020 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Named “Best Book of the Year” by Fortune, The Financial Times, The Economist, Inc. Magazine, and NPR 

In this “sequel to The Social Network” (The New York Times), award-winning reporter Sarah Frier reveals the never-before-told story of how Instagram became the most culturally defining app of the decade.

“The most enrapturing book about Silicon Valley drama since Hatching Twitter” (Fortune), No Filter “pairs phenomenal in-depth reporting with explosive storytelling that gets to the heart of how Instagram has shaped our lives, whether you use the app or not” (The New York Times). 

In 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released a photo-sharing app called Instagram, with one simple but irresistible feature: It would make anything you captured look more beautiful. The cofounders cultivated a community of photographers and artisans around the app, and it quickly went mainstream. In less than two years, it caught Facebook’s attention: Mark Zuckerberg bought the company for a historic one billion dollars when Instagram had only 13 employees. 

That might have been the end of a classic success story. But the cofounders stayed on, trying to maintain Instagram’s beauty, brand, and cachet, considering their app a separate company within the social networking giant. They urged their employees to make changes only when necessary, resisting Facebook’s grow-at-all-costs philosophy in favor of a strategy that highlighted creativity and celebrity. Just as Instagram was about to reach a billion users, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg - once supportive of the founders’ autonomy - began to feel threatened by Instagram’s success.

Frier draws on unprecedented access - from the founders of Instagram, as well as employees, executives, and competitors; Anna Wintour of Vogue; Kris Jenner of the Kardashian-Jenner empire; and a plethora of influencers worldwide - to show how Instagram has fundamentally changed the way we show, eat, travel, and communicate, all while fighting to preserve the values which contributed to the company’s success. “Deeply reported and beautifully written” (Nick Bilton, Vanity Fair), No Filter examines how Instagram’s dominance acts as a lens into our society today, highlighting our fraught relationship with technology, our desire for perfection, and the battle within tech for its most valuable commodity: our attention.

©2020 Sarah Frier (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about No Filter

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Well Told Story of the Rise and Reach of Instagram

Don’t be put off by the audio sample featuring the author’s voice reading an introduction. The book is actually perfectly narrated by Megan Tusing and one of my favorite audiobooks of the year.

No Filter (great title) is the well written and researched behind-the-scenes story of the social media giant that has changed the way we travel and “curate” our lives. Facebook values time spent on the site (quantity) more than quality. Kevin Systrom’s Instagram took the reverse approach — keeping the site simple, focused on craft and beauty, avoidance of bells and whistles that distracted and jangled the user. It worked — and then Facebook took over. The book details Systrom's vision for Instagram but the real story may be Mark Zuckerberg’s ego. Have you noticed the new "Instagram by Facebook" tag when you enter the app? Do you enjoy seeing it? No, me neither— but I guess MZ does. Both Systrom's and Zuckerberg's approaches are interesting to hear about.

Audiobook producers and publishers: you do nobody any favors when you have an author read their own introduction. We don’t need that personal touch, especially amateurish attempts that are used as samples on Audible and might mislead a listener into thinking the whole book is read as poorly. Writers, stick to writing unless there is a compelling reason to record. This introduction also has quarantine production values and seems to have been recorded in a closet.

Fortunately a wonderful reader, Megan Tusing, takes over. Hats off to Tusing for an intelligent, well paced, clear reading. I will seek out her narrations out! (No, not a friend or relation — just long time Audible addict who has come to deeply appreciate the best readers!)

Otherwise, excellent work, Sarah Frier — great tech tale well told.

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent

As a former employee, it was great reading this! The context provided is certainly not far off from the day to day of that course company

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It was just okay

Very interesting in the beginning, talking about the startup and even acquisition, but it jumped into Facebook ownership too soon. Would have been nice hearing more about the startup period. about halfway through, I was excited to get the book done with. It droned on about Facebook decisions battling Instagram decisions for the rest of the book.
FYI, the audible sample is much worse than the actual reader. the audible sample makes it sound terrible. It wasn't that bad.

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Interesting Read

This book is well written and gives good details on the story of Instagram. The early part of the startup is very interesting. Much of the book focuses on the minute details of the app as it applied to influencers and users. Sometimes that information became repetitive. Similarly, the details of the interaction with FB became repetitive. I ran out of steam reading it although I did finish. The author and the reader were both easy to listen to.

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The Narrator is not the same person in the sample!

The Narrator is not the same person in the sample. Whyyy??? Please improve my experience

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Great Book!

This book is a great lesson on leadership and how important transparency and consideration are in business.

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Nothing to write home about

Wasn’t as good as “that will never work”. Story felt like a setup for a political message.

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Must Read for Marketing Disruptors

This is an incredible tale of social media and new media, one that we all must read and absorb, especially those in marketing and tech.

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Eh

It’s goes downhill after the Facebook acquisition. felt like this book could’ve been condensed into 2-3hours. After the Facebook acquisition, which is really early on in the book, everything feels pushed.

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Simply Amazing...

I have never been much of a social media person but I believe learning the founders goal behind the platform could help me better understand how they won online.

What I discovered in this book was a few things,
1) Just being yourself today works...
2) Facebook, isn’t going to let anyone dethrone them so Facebook Ads is a safe bet.
3) I need to start building an audience on Facebook, Instagram.
4) With over billion users each how can you not build a successful business online.
5) Everyone struggled starting out but having a theme has a lot to do with your success.

Pick the book up just because I like learning about the stories of how big techs came to be, and I finish the book with a deep desire to get into the social save and see what type of splash I could make.

Thanks again.