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  • Published: 16 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847942548
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $26.00

No Filter

The Inside Story of Instagram - Winner of the FT Business Book of the Year Award

The extraordinary inside story of how Instagram became the world's most successful app

Winner of the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2020

Drawing on interviews with all the key figures at Instagram, No Filter vividly recreates the rise of the most successful photo app in history: from its origins in a Silicon Valley coffee shop, to its unprecedented billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook, to its founders' dramatic clashes with their new boss, Mark Zuckerberg. Along the way, it explores how Instagram has changed society - encouraging businesses to prioritise their aesthetic above all else, forging a new economy of digital entrepreneurs, and rewiring how a generation thinks about celebrity and success.

The result is the definitive story of how a simple platform revolutionised tech, business, and popular culture. Instagram has remade us all in its image. This book reveals how.

One of the best books of the year according to: The Times | Fortune | Financial Times | Inc. | Economist | Newsweek

  • Published: 16 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847942548
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $26.00

About the author

Sarah Frier

Sarah Frier reports on social media companies for Bloomberg Newsfrom San Francisco. Her award-winning features and breaking stories have earned her a reputation as an expert on how Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter make business decisions that affect their future and our society. She is a frequent contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg Television. No Filter is her first book. @sarahfrier

Praise for No Filter

A brilliant exploration of the highs and lows of human nature . . . Vivid reporting and electric story-telling.

Ashlee Vance, author of ELON MUSK: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future

A deeply-reported and beautifully written account of a company that has changed society, fame, culture, business, and communication.

Nick Bilton, author of HATCHING TWITTER: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal

Riveting and wonderfully reported . . . Will ignite a conversation about the often unconscious role we play in increasing Instagram's formidable, maybe even terrifying, reach.

Bethany McLean, co-author of THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron

A deep-dive into the social media platform we all love.


Frier landed interviews with Instagram's founders, executives, and competitors to chronicle the company's meteoric growth.


How Instagram defied the odds to become one of the most culturally defining apps of the decade . . . Unprecedented exclusive access.


Deeply researched and highly entertaining . . . packed with anecdotes and insider accounts . . . it eloquently describes how the app changed millions of lives, generating a new industry of "Instagram influencers".


Deeply sourced . . . A compelling tale of jealousy.


No Filter manages to be clear-eyed and objective, without sensationalizing or oversimplifying . . . We need a book like this . . . I spend hours staring at the screen, and now I have a better sense of who's staring back.


Fascinating . . . Instagram's social impact makes it more than just another story of Silicon Valley business success.


A vibrant play-by-play [account] . . . Irresistible drama . . . Frier is willing to find the cracks in Instagram's glossy appearance.


One of my favorite books of recent months . . . A meticulously reported, beautifully told story.

Casey Newton, THE VERGE

A comprehensive new history . . . Intriguing


Inside the darker side of Instagram


Instagram has reshaped how we eat, shop, talk and present ourselves. In No Filter . . . Sarah Frier offers a rare glimpse into how the company came to be a formidable force in the tech industry.


A lively and revealing account of how the world came to see itself through [Instagram founder] Mr Systrom's lens . . . The tale of nerds who struck gold offers glimpses of Silicon Valley's weirdness.


No Filter offers an engaging account of how tech founders' ideals inevitably have to be squared with making profits.


A fascinating business story - but also much more than that . . . Frier is a skilled reporter and an astute and sensitive cultural observer. No Filter is a vital read for anyone seeking to understand the incredible power Silicon Valley executives exercise over us, and the opaque, unpredictable and undemocratic mechanisms by which they do so.


A vivid portrait of clashing Silicon Valley egos

Best Books of the Year: Business, FINANCIAL TIMES

Officially, this is the tale of the photo-sharing app Instagram, but it's also a wider story of Silicon Valley - the fragile egos, the feuds, the deals done around fire pits . . . Mark Zuckerberg is the book's sometimes cartoonish villain, ending staff meeting with the cry: "Domination!"

Business Books of the Year, SUNDAY TIMES

No Filter is a topical and well-reported account of the rise of Instagram and its takeover by Facebook. But it also tackles two vital issues of our age: how Big Tech treats smaller rivals and how social media companies are shaping the lives of a new generation.

Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FINANCIAL TIMES

Bloomberg reporter Sarah Frier chronicles the rise of photo-sharing social network Instagram, from when it was still a location-based app named "Burbn" to the ad-driven juggernaut it is today . . . Frier deftly streamlines from multiple interviews with some of the most high-profile executives, venture capitalists, and most-followed celebrities on Instagram

The 10 Best Business Books of 2020, FORTUNE

Congressional documents may have told us why Mark Zuckerberg thought he needed to buy Instagram, but No Filter is the inside story of the company that Facebook actually bought. Sarah Frier's book is the definitive account that bridges the gaps between the company Instagram was born as, the company that eventually sold to Facebook for $1 billion, and the company we know today. The intrigue of this origin story will only grow as the status of Instagram - as a brand within Facebook and a player in our daily lives - is sure to change in the decade ahead.

Favourite Business Books of 2020, YAHOO FINANCE

Utterly brilliant . . . It is so fascinating because it works at two levels: there's the personal story of these two founders making it up as they go along . . . and then there's the bigger story of Silicon Valley itself, and the unstoppable pressure to grow and go viral . . . [Frier] explores how Instagram changed society in terms of influencers, and also in terms of what it does to us, when we see these heavily filtered images of perfection in other people's lives - and this is really worth thinking about.

Extraordinary Business Book Club

Examines the all-pervasive impact of Instagram and what it says about today's society.


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