Toronto Instagram feed is hilarious love letter to local mall
Whether you love it, or love to hate it, those on the city's west side have some pretty strong feelings about Dufferin Mall, and one Instagram account has been capturing all of those emotions for the past two years.
But it hasn't always been easy for @thedirtyduff, which has nearly 12,000 followers. The Instagram feed started its life as @dufferinmallofficial, but got a cease and desist letter when the folks from the mall found out about it. Everything seems kosher since the name change.
With photos captured in and around the shopping centre, @thedirtyduff parodies official mall Instagram accounts.
The founder, who wishes to remain anonymous, says they started the account as a social media experiment after shopping at the mall's beer store one day. They were in the middle of a marketing program and were obsessed with studying social media analytics.
"I was like, I wonder how much more of a following you actually get if you talk to the people that are following you," like the way we chat over the phone. They spent hours following people back and commenting on their follower's photos.
"I found that the more I engaged with them, the more they engaged with me and it just started blowing up," they explain, noting they reached about 5,000 followers within a few days. Media coverage also helped boost the account's visibility.
Since then, the account's featured much more user-generated content - those who visit the mall near Bloor and Dufferin often send in funny photos, including chef Matty Matheson.
For the most part, Torontonians have responded well to the account.
Some followers, however, have complained that certain photos seem to make fun of those who shop at the Dufferin Mall, so the account manager's now more mindful of what they post.
But the founder does most of their shopping at the Duff and thinks because it's super affordable, it plays an important role in an expensive city like Toronto.
"Every town has a mall that just has what you need and thereâs nothing really special about it and they donât try to make it special at all," they say. "But Iâve always found that I favour those malls."
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