February 17, 2022
In honor of Black History Month, Instagram is unveiling its Love At First Slide Series with eight Black duos. With this content series, we highlight the different forms of Black love that play out on Instagram, whether that be platonic love or romantic love. Through a series of 60-second videos and intimate still images, these duos #ShareBlackStories about how their love blossomed through Instagram.
With content produced by Black-founded marketing agency Team Epiphany, the series shines with intimate, warmly-hued glimpses into the people and relationships behind these stories. Take a look at how these duos met and explain what Black love means to them.
@telshaanderson + @justinb00ne
Justin’s friends thought he’d be interested in Telsha and showed him an Instagram post of her. Justin waited, thinking she was already seeing someone. Days later, Telsha scrolled through her own feed only to stumble upon Justin. What started as a DM inquiry about a T-shirt he posted and designed turned into their first date. Eight months later, the two were engaged and married in fall 2021.
Ashtyn and Ashley were already following each other on Instagram for years, but Ashley was the first to make contact via Ashtyn’s DMs. While life got in the way, they stayed in touch. One random day, Ashtyn messaged Ashley wondering if she still had a chance. Ashley wrote back with a snarky reply, “You better hurry up before it’s too late,” and the rest was history. They've been engaged since January.
@im.arial + @jaconnasalene (Business Partners)
Senior Creative at Vice Media Jaconna was already following musician and artist Arial on Instagram for a year. After their loss of their mutual friend, Jaconna reached out to Arial via DM to grieve together. One year later, their friendship blossomed into a business. In honor of their friend, they launched DASOUFGOTSOMETHINGTOSAY, a directory designed for people to easily find Black creatives from the South. They continue to use Instagram to keep up with each other.
@theblkguynextdoor + @marcd_johnson
Drew was looking on Instagram for a custom suit for an event when he found one of the models — Marcus. Drew followed him on Instagram and began interacting with Marcus’s page by liking and commenting on his posts. When Drew finally DM’d Marcus, it took two months before Marcus connected with him about a career change. Drew helped Marcus negotiate a new position and even a salary increase. As a thank you, Marcus asked Drew on a date. Now, three years later, Drew has relocated to Atlanta and the two continue to thrive.
Ryan and Tia met at a college party in Alabama. Ryan spotted Tia, but she was so busy talking to people that he never got a chance to speak to her. A few days later, he found her on Instagram, followed her and liked three pictures. She followed back, liked three of his photos. Ryan slid into Tia’s DMs asking “Are we playing picture tag?”
Justin McMullen and Danielle McDowell met in 2013 at a Saturday Morning Cartoons party in Brooklyn. Instead of giving her number, Dani gave Justin her Instagram. For the first month, they only spoke via DMs. Throughout the years, they showcased their relationship on Instagram, creating the hashtag #myheartandhomie. Nine years later, through a cross-country move and career transitions, their friends have watched their relationship grow, all on Instagram.
@nicholelynel + @tonythecloser_
Nichole Lynel is a fashion designer and entrepreneur. Tony Robinson Jr. went from being a Seattle Seahawks player to an entrepreneur and real estate/financial expert. They both host the It’s Our Love podcast, where they give a peek into their relationship, including who slid in whose DM’s first.
@barack_obutta + @onedopevegan_ (Platonic)
Alrick “Butta” Augustine is the founder of Keep It Run Hundred, a nonprofit-run club creating space for wellness and running in Inglewood. Branden Williams was inspired, seeing someone who looked like him making an impact on their community in South Central. After chatting in their Instagram DMs about running, wellness and community, Branden Williams founded One Dope Run Club in San Diego.
Butta and Branden have been supporting each other on their respective fitness journeys through Instagram for years. On Branden’s first One Dope Run Club run, Butta surprised him by showing up to run.