Beyoncé is not just a singer. Beyoncé is an artist. Her self-titled fifth album transformed an already stellar tracklist into 14 pieces of visual art. Three years later, Lemonade did it again, this time with a full-length film. These are only the most recent examples of Beyoncé’s musical artistry; a full list could be bound into a book rivaling Les Misérables.
Throughout her decades-long career, Beyoncé has changed what it means to be a singer, businesswoman, fashion mogul, mother, wife and daughter. She is an artisan and an icon unmatched by anyone living today.
So how could we ever expect her to operate an Instagram account that is anything less than marvelously unique?
Take a trip to Beyoncé’s Instagram. Here you’ll find a collage of photos unlike most user displays. Gone are the typical posed group shots or iPhone selfies. In Beyoncé’s digital world, each picture is a masterpiece that, if printed and framed, could be hung on any given wall of MoMA. Photos are untouched by commonplace filters and almost every post is an image, or multiple images, of her.
On first glance, it would seem Beyoncé does not know how to use Instagram. But take a deeper look and you’ll find it’s more likely she secretly knows how to use it better than all of us, and we just haven’t caught up.
Beyoncé probably doesn’t even know what a typical Instagram account is supposed to look like. She has 107 million Instagram followers. She follows no one.
Beyoncé doesn’t have time to mindlessly scroll. Beyoncé just posts.
Captions on her posts are few and far between. Most photos speaking for themselves, free from explanation. This avoidance of text does not necessarily come as a surprise. After all, Beyoncé’s Twitter account, which she’s had since 2009, displays only 10 tweets.
I clicked on a random post on Beyoncé’s Instagram — a series of shots of her posing in a black and white ensemble — and saw one comment from Kelly Rowland and another from Naomi Campbell. Naomi enthusiastically called Beyoncé “Gorge” while Kelly threw in some smiley emojis. Another post had a compliment from Serena Williams. These are the types of people who comment when you’re Beyoncé.
Lately, Beyoncé has been arranging posts in groups of three, so when you view her page as a grid you can see patterns across the screen of coordinated photos. Three images of Beyoncé in an emerald dress sit above three images of the superstar sporting a “Yonce” necklace statement piece, which sit above three images that collage specific accessories. She has mastered the Instagram grid format, allowing groups of small beautiful images to be zoomed out into bigger-image arrangements. Beyoncé’s Instagram is like a Monet painting: There is abstract beauty in the details and a separate beauty in the larger picture.
While most people just post a cheesy posed pregnancy announcement that gets liked by some friends and family, Beyoncé’s announcement was record-setting. Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement post became the most-liked Instagram post of all time, with more than 11 million likes.
Instagram is a place where users can share photos of themselves, their life, family or interests. At the most basic level, Beyoncé is doing just that. It’s just, when you’re Beyoncé, life has a production quality that makes it just a little more magnificent.