This morning, as part of the Washington Monument opening ceremonies, we decided to ask 12 of our Instagram followers to come with us, join us in the celebration, take photos and share them with their followers, as well.
We're looking at it as another way to reach larger audiences and reach people that we wouldn't normally reach. We've got a 30-year-old teacher from Orlando, Florida who's come up for the event.
We've got a couple who are going around and visiting all 59 of America's national parks. Both of them and 10 other people are here with us today to share with their followers what it means to them to have the Washington Monument reopened again for the first time since 2011.
It's an incredible opportunity to see such a strong point of our nation, something that really stands for a lot of what our nation is built upon, the foundations of the nation. I think it's really cool.
This is amazing. I've lived in Virginia my whole life and never gone to the monument. It's an amazing opportunity to share my experience with other people. It worked out.
They're such a phenomenon, Interior is on Instagram. It's about time. It's about time they had an InstaMeet.
One of the best ways to reach out to larger audiences is to use social media. It's fast and it's free. It allows us to reach out to people that aren't able to be with us here today. Anyone around the world can follow along and follow the hashtag #MonuMeet, which we used earlier today.
It's a very easy way to communicate with large groups of people without using a lot of resources to get it done.
I've never been up here before. It's a real treat.
It's really, truly incredible.
It's fantastic. It's everything I hoped it would be. I hope my kids will be able to see the pictures and come up some day and see it for themselves.
It was fantastic. It went better than we could ever have expected. The 12 were super-excited to be here. Some of them knew each other from online already, which is really great, but had never met each other before.
People were taking really interesting, different perspective shots that we wouldn't have even thought to use. They were sharing those out with tens of thousands of people on their channels and hundreds of thousands of people on the Department of the Interior channel.
It was really a wonderful event, to actually take people who engage online, bring them offline, and be able to share again with people in a fun and unusual way. We couldn't have asked for any more from them. They were fantastic today.
A dozen followers of our Instagram account (www.instagram.com/USInterior) participated in the re-opening of the Washington Monument on May 12, 2014. Here is a behind the scenes look at what they saw as some of the first people who got to go to the top since the Monument closed in August, 2011 as a result of the east coast earthquake.