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“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” – Winston Churchill
Nineteen-year-old Australia native Xavier di Petta has a keen understanding of this famous quote regarding history, as well as the social platforms, like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, that his fellow millennials flock to. Along with his business partner Kyle Cameron, Xavier has been using social media to expose millions of followers to bite-sized history lessons, one picture at a time. Xavier and Kyle are the founders of the hugely popular History In Picturesaccounts, which receive hundreds of retweets and thousands of favorites for each unforgettable pic.
We met Xavier at this year’s TEDxTeen event, where, alongside other game changing teens, he spoke to an eager crowd about the power of social media and how a picture is indeed worth a thousand words (but better expressed in 140 characters).
Five questions with Xavier di Petta
1) How did you and your partner Kyle decide on the concept of sharing historical pictures on Twitter?
Xavier: Kyle Cameron and I created @HistoryInPics as we saw the need for intriguing, thought-provoking, historical pictures. We had attempted to find similar social accounts, but we were at a loss.
2) Is there a particular type of picture that resonates most with your audience?
Xavier: Pop culture in the 1960s-70s.
3) What is the most popular picture you’ve posted to date?
4) Do you have any advice for other teenagers starting their own websites and multimedia projects?
Xavier: The harder you work, the luckier you get.
5) Describe your process for selecting which pictures are shared. Do you and Kyle make all of your decisions together, or do you share photos independently at times?
Xavier: When Kyle and I curate different accounts, we make decisions independently for the most part. We know what domains we own and do not micromanage each other.