The world's top 10 Instagram photographers arrived in Israel this week to take part in a special project to photograph Israeli landscapes and upload the pictures to the Internet. President Shimon Peres hosted the photographers and attended Israel's second Instagram exhibition in Tel Aviv.
The photographers, who were selected according to the number of people who view their photos on the Instagram photo sharing application, will be capturing Israel's scenery and making the photos available to the more than 2 million subscribers. Photos by the group have already received thousands of likes from avid followers around the world.
The group made the trip to Israel at the behest of Tel Aviv University students participating in a public diplomacy campaign through StandWithUs, a pro-Israel advocacy organization.
Instagram is a free photo sharing program and social app launched in October 2010. It is said to have 80 million registered users.
During his meeting with the Instagramers, Peres spoke about Israel's image and the advantage of communicating through social networks.
"If you want to know what characterizes people in Israel, it's the Israeli chutzpah, the desire to break through common conventions and think out of the box. We are also a people who seek peace and want to live in harmony with our neighbors," Peres told the photographers.
Jose Miguele Mena, of San Francisco, thanked Peres on behalf of the group and said, "We came from all over the world and have fallen in love with your country from the very first moment. We are taking beautiful pictures in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and will continue to do so when we go to the Dead Sea."