Every year, more and more photos get taken and produced on the visual web, and one of the most popular ways of sharing that content is through Instagram. From hilarious celebrity moments to important social issues, we’ve listed out some of the most iconic, viral photos to have graced Instagram this past year.

The World Comes Together for Soccer

Soccer, more commonly referred to as football around the world, means more than just the World Cup every 4 years. Photographer and Instagrammer Arthur Martins shared a beautiful story through Instagram earlier this year about the huge impact that the sport has on the lives of Brazilians everyday.

The Presidential Salute

Unfortunately, not everything was all rose petals on Instagram. The infamous #lattesalute caused quite a stir and debate on social media.

#HandsUp #DontShoot

RIP Mike Brown. Repost from @abelleinbk #dontshoot #ripmikebrown #ferguson #morehouse

A photo posted by Rob Gore (@siriema22) on

The decisions on cases like Ferguson and Eric Garner this year rocked the country and perception of the judicial system. Naturally, protesters took both to the streets and social media to start the #DontShoot movement to raise awareness.

The World’s Water Crisis

Photographer Balazs Gardi documented the political conflict that arose out of a desperate need for water drought due to climate change. The once-peaceful Turkana and Daasanach now have to compete for the precious resource on a daily basis.

Taylor Swift, from 1989 to today

Miss you already. #1989SecretSessions

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Country-turned-pop singer starlet showcased that this was her year. From celebrating a huge 25th birthday with A-list friends to being #1 on the Billboard charts, she showed true dedication to her music and fans with the #1989SecretSessions where she invited select fans to private listening parties of her new album.

Kim Kardashian Breaks Instagram

In November of this year, Kim Kardashian partnered with Paper Magazine to break the internet with a scandalous cover spread, but before that, she and Kanye broke Instagram records with their wedding photos.

We Can Do it… Together

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

In 2014, discussions around feminism became a mainstream discussion, partly in thanks to huge stars like Beyonce and Emma Watson promoting the cause to their fan bases.

Lupita Nyong’O wins an Oscar and our hearts

Lupita Nyong’O continued to break racial barriers in the film industry in 2014 and became the 15th actress in history to win an Academy Award for a debut film. The actress’ Instagram feed got a lot of attention for it’s behind-the-scenes look at glitzy events and stunning fashion photography.

Michelle Obama #BringBackOurGirls

Our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their families. It's time to #BringBackOurGirls. -mo

A photo posted by First Lady Michelle Obama (@michelleobama) on

Michelle Obama quickly became the face of the #BringBackOurGirls initiative to raise awareness and pressure the release of the 276 kidnapped school children

The #ALSIceBucketChallenge rocks the internet

This is just one of many, many #ALSIceBucketChallenge videos and posts all over social media. From everyday people to A-list celebrities–the social media activism raised hundreds of millions of dollars towards ALS research

Like every year, 2014 has seen a myriad of amazing, fun, and even devastating moments. Platforms like Instagram give people the opportunity to discover, share, and be a part of an amazing community that continuously changes how people consume content.

About The Author

Not the KPOP star.

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