Instagram Built an Adorably Small Oval Office for the Conventions

Anyone can feel presidential for a moment

Headshot of Marty Swant

Tonight, Hillary Clinton will make her case at the Democratic National Convention for why she belongs in the White House. But for the past few days, hundreds of others have been testing out a different—and much smaller—Oval Office.

Instagram has designed and built a miniature version of the Oval Office for attendees of both the Democratic and Republican conventions to sit in and take photos of. The square-shaped set that includes a shin-high desk and chairs has been the scene of photo ops by the likes of journalist Jake Tapper, comedian Samantha Bee and even former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson.

According to John Tass-Parker, Instagram's head of politics and government, the process began about four months ago and was built by a design team that was part internal employees and part external help. But even more importantly, he said the Facebook-owned Oval Office is bipartisan.

"We wanted something that was really visual and spoke to this moment, but was kind of fun and creative and allowed people to kind of interpret it in their own way," he said in an interview while sitting with Adweek in the pop-up presidential quarters. "So every single photo is different. Every single video is different … This is their own mini Oval Office." 

There are now 95 million videos and photographs posted to the platform on any given day, which he said has increasingly been used to participate in big moments like political conventions. The platform is also a great place to reach a younger demographic—around two thirds of all Instagram users that follow a 2016 candidate are millennials.

So where will this Oval Office go as the general election campaign gets underway? Hopefully to Instagram's office in Washington, D.C., Tass-Parker said.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.