The real story behind the 'Plant 1 tree for every pet picture' Instagram scam

The real story behind the 'Plant 1 tree for every pet picture' Instagram scam

If you've been on Instagram within the past 24 hours you know what we're talking about...

plant 1 tree for every pet picture Instagram story scam
@Rushil_Kisoon/Twitter

No one really knows how certain trends can go from being the tiniest little thing to blowing up within hours, but it happens almost every day.

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If you were to open up your social media apps today, there would no doubt be some interesting post that catches your eye but not enough for you to post something similar, and if you were to return to the app a day later, you could find your feed flooded with similar posts.

Or you might see something and it won't blow up.

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There really is no way to be completely sure how something becomes viral.

But using animals, specifically people's pets, and a social issue, like climate change, could be a pretty good combination.

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And that's exactly what one company did. They leveraged people's love of animals and their concern for the environment to their advantage and created a viral Instagram story.

Instagram recently revealed a new feature, the add your sticker, to help with engagement on the platform.

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Basically, someone posts the sticker on their story, you can click on it and add your own story to it. It's like a Twitter thread but with only pictures.

This week, someone, somewhere started a thread where they claimed they would plant a tree for every single person who used the sticker and posted a picture of their pet on their story.

This is what it looked like:

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And while many people joined in on the good-hearted fun, as the number of Insta stories grew, more and more people were starting to question the legitimacy of the original post:

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Finally, the numbers reached a point where it clearly would be quite impossible for anyone to keep their promise unless the business behind this post was Amazon or Google.

And then the company, Plant A Tree Co stepped up and said they started the trend:

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But the drama doesn't stop there.

After Plant A Tree Co claimed this very savvy idea, other users realised that this is not the first time they have done something similar. The only issue is, they are con-artists and scammers looking to get money out of these trends, but luckily the Internet never forgets:

There you have it folks, it was all a lie.

While there might never have been a good samaritan looking to rebuild our forests, seeing everyone's Instagram stories and it just being a bunch of adorable pets was definitely the highlight of our day.

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Main image courtesy of @Rushil_Kisoon/Twitter

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