All of Instagram is snapping the same pic of this damn pool in Morocco

All of Instagram is snapping the same pic of this damn pool in Morocco

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The Riad Jasmine.The Riad Jasmine.
2016%2f06%2f29%2fa2%2fhttpsd2mhye01h4nj2n.cloudfront.netmediazgkymde1lza0.9fdd0By Ariel BogleAustralia2016-11-24 07:22:10 UTC

Call it the social media generation's version of a pilgrimage.

Hashtags and geotagging mean anyone can follow their favourite Instagrammer to even the most remote and most specific locations, tempted by their deliberately styled "un-style" and flawless tans.

Take Lauren Bullen, proprietor of the Instagram handle @gypsea_lust and at last count more than 825,000 followers. In mid-November, she accused one @diana_alexa of copying her travel photos down to juice stand and swimwear selection.

Many cried hoax on the whole situation, and Bullen has declined to talk further about the incident, even deleting the original post on her website.

Publicity stunt or not, these are the not uncommon pitfalls of travel Instagram. The world where the lucky few post pictures in exchange for subsidised travel to exotic locales, to which we, the thirsty masses, yearn to follow. Desperately, perhaps, in @diana_alexa's case.

The double up was uncanny, down to the poolside breakfast situation.

Image: Lauren Bullen

Dabble for long in the world of travel Instagram, though, and you'll find everyone is taking the same photo at the world's most photogenic swimming pool.

Everyone that's not you, of course, languishing in your office chair with a half eaten bagel.

You could take this as your best evidence yet of social media's ability to homogenise anything, even a trip to Marrakech. But the pool's owners are not mad about it, and they're definitely not mad at @gypsea_lust, who they believe helped kick the whole thing off.

The lucky hotel is Riad Jasmine in Marrakech, Morocco. Run by a French couple, Gabriel Paris and Alice Tassery, it opened in 2002 and is owned by Gabriel's father.

The pair took over in 2015, they told Mashable over email, renovating and setting in motion a whole new blogger-focused social media strategy.

A photo posted by UA TOUR (@_uatour_) on Nov 18, 2016 at 11:17pm PST

A photo posted by Teri Yeung (@teriaki) on Nov 16, 2016 at 7:06am PST

Tassery, a former communications manager in France, said Riad Jasmine got started on Instagram in Sept. 2015.

"In February we had our first Instagrammer @galabcn, a fashion stylist brand in Spain," she wrote. "She was the first to promote the Riad via her Instagram. At this time, she had 10K followers which appeared to me a lot as we only had maybe 200-300 followers."

But the Riad became truly "famous" on Instagram after Bullen and her partner Jack Morris of @doyoutravel (1.6 million followers) posted that picture of themselves breakfasting by the pool. The shot so impressive that @diana_alexa, or whoever she is, just had to have it.

"We earned so many followers and new guests after they shared it. It has been a crazy time and a win/win collaboration," Tassery added.

Bullen told Mashable over email there was some quid quo pro involved.

"We stayed there for a couple of nights in exchange for a post each," she said. "The posts went viral and now everyone wants to stay there and have the same picture ... Was a great deal for the hotel haha!!"

The room costs, per the site, vary between 95 to 125 euros per night.

Tassery wouldn't share more about how she tempts bloggers, whether with free rooms or other benefits.

"All our collaborations are different, depending on how many followers, feeling, what they offer," she wrote.

"We do not want to say much about our way to work with travel bloggers as we do not want people to copy us, we can just say that there is no rules for collaborations and always something to discuss in order to have a win/win relationship :)"

A photo posted by Chloé Beaumont (@chlofee) on Nov 20, 2016 at 3:48am PST

Either way, it's working. Since August, Tassery estimated that more than 80 percent of guests come to the Riad because they've seen pictures of it on Instagram and Pinterest.

They currently host two to three bloggers per month. "We cannot accept more because we are a small Riad of 7 rooms and want to keep it intimate for all the others guests ... Each guest wants his picture in or by the pool," she said.

One travel Instagrammer planning her trip is Teri Yeung (1,208 followers). After finding the Riad on Instagram, she's booked to visit in December.

"I pick my destinations based on a lot of factors (time of year, available travel partners, flights deals, etc...) but Instagram is definitely where I go for travel inspiration and wanderlust," she told Mashable in an email. "They didn't subsidize my stay in exchange for social sharing but I guess that's the dream!"

A photo posted by Victória Rocha (@viihrocha) on Nov 11, 2016 at 3:57am PST

So, why does everyone take the same photo? Tassery pointed to the pleasing display of colours, beds and palm trees — "relaxing, calm, zen."

"The symbol inside the pool represents the Amazigh symbol (Berbere culture) which means free man, the land and the language. And it is part of the charm of the Riad," she added.

That's the kind of vaguely spiritual pic that would look great on your Instagram, right?

Topics: Australia, gypsy lust, instagram, riad yasmine, Social Media, Travel, Travel & Leisure

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