This Genius Dad is Getting 500k Instagram Followers Per Week Using Only Hotel Carpet Photos


Going viral is the topic of endless seminars and “free” e-books, but is there really a formula to becoming Internet famous?

Or is it all a bunch of luck, coupled with some quirk and charm?

This pilot’s story would seem to be a lot of the latter.

Social media magic is something that every marketing student wants to learn and every marketing professional wants to happen, but try as we all might there is that element that few discuss: chance.

Who knows what will succeed, what will become the next meme, or how it will be delivered. Think back on some of the hottest viral trends and then examine them in light of rationality and viability: Few of them pass this test.

From the amazing Ice Bucket Challenge, which raised awareness (and money) for a debilitating disease, to planking, which made all of humanity question our collective intelligence, virality is an elusive muse.

Image via Creative Commons from

One pilot named Bill Young has hit upon social media gold, however, with his posts about the carpets he treads upon in the many, many hotel rooms he stays in over the course of his working life.

Not only is Bill a pilot, but he’s also a photographer, which makes this story all the more intriguing.

After his 19-year-old daughter brought him to the world’s attention, Bill amassed over 500k followers in just a little under a week’s time. His first post was in August 2015 and he had only 83 followers for much of his account’s history.

His daughter Jill decided that, for Christmas, she would make her dad’s Instagram account documenting the carpeting in various hotel rooms go viral. And go viral it did.

Soon his account was deluged with followers and his story was on major media outlets, a marked change from the dusty days of sub-100 followers.

You can find Bill Young over on Instagram @myhotelcarpet on Instagram. Bill Young’s photography can be found here (his personal website) and his professional Instagram account located here.


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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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