Jesse Margolis, the man behind Overheard LA, started the Instagram account on a whim in 2015, after listening to a stereotypically L.A. conversation at a health food store. It now has 1.6 million followers and numerous spinoffs, including Overheard London and Overheard New York. This time, we'll focus on the latter.
"We're curating user-generated content, but we're also directing it toward millennial themes," Margolis told The New York Times. "The reason the accounts are successful is because we're not just posting some dumb quote — we're focusing on these themes of dating and digital life and food and fitness and Instagram culture and all that stuff. So we definitely do our best."
And that definitely shows. While scrolling through these snippets, you get a feeling that you're not just eavesdropping on a random conversation. Rather, immersing yourself in a unique environment and getting to know the people living there; their wants and desires, insecurities and fears. So continue scrolling and let's take a walk in the streets of NYC.
The Overheard project has come a long way since its humble beginnings. High follower numbers aside, Margolis is steering the brand in a new direction too. With a printed "newspaper" called The Overheard Post, which has seen features such as the "millennial weather report" and satirical "obituaries".
"We've got these ... accounts now with cities and themes, and we're kind of exploring how that brand manifests itself in different areas," Margolis explained.
"The newspaper idea is our first foray — it's half a marketing stunt. We're essentially going to be doing a newsletter. My idea for our newsletter is it's offline only, and then if you want to actually read it online, you might be able to get it 24 hours later or a week later."
Margolis said the account that started it all, Overheard LA, plays to the more absurd elements of the city, but interestingly enough, it captures the sort of extremes that his team have all seen a little bit living in L.A.
"We're trying to make fun of the bubble and occasionally we can get caught in the bubble ourselves by doing that, and not necessarily showing just how unique and diverse L.A. has become. I wish the whole of L.A. was reflected more in the account."
What he thinks he has learned from his time on the project is "how clearly we are now living in two worlds: the real world, IRL. And this 'Black Mirror' thing."
What makes him laugh about the newspaper is that he's old enough to remember when everyone was offline scrambling to establish a presence on the internet and now the phenomenon has gone full circle and publishers are trying to establish their presence offline.
Note: this post originally had 59 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.