National Geographic Is Instagram’s First Major Media Partner

Mobile photo-sharing startup Instagram snapped its first major partnership, reaching an agreement with National Geographic, and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom told TechCrunch details are still in the works as to how the two companies will collaborate.

Systrom told TechCrunch the two parties had been in talks for weeks, and National Geographic has still not determined how it will use Instagram, but the first priority will be engaging fans, whether through photo-sharing or crowdsourcing. He added:

National Geographic makes a ton of sense as an initial partner — they’re a fantastic company with such a rich visual history. Given that they’re so visually oriented, it’s a no-brainer that we’re going to be trying some interesting stuff out with them over the next few months.

Basically, we’ve been going back-and-forth — brainstorming ideas for how NG can participate in the community. They’d like to participate more actively with their fans through photos — whether it’s enabling people from around the world to tell their story through an interesting prompt/contest, or crowdsourcing images for an upcoming story — everything’s on the table.

They’ve also got a huge photographer/reporter base that could contribute images “on the ground” as things happen — imagine a “live” version of National Geographic. But again, this is all very early, and we’re excited to figure out how NG and other brands can fully utilize our platform.