Photo Dump – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did you just land on a collection of photos from someone you follow on social media? If so, you’re looking at a ‘photo dump.’ This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression ‘photo dump’ refers to a collection of curated images released on social media. Specifically, the ‘photo dump’ is usually released on Instagram and uploaded in a carousel format, with all the photos loosely following a single theme motivated by the users' everyday experience with life.

Usually, the photos follow a timeline, such as a cup of coffee, followed by a walk with the dog, and a session at the gym, then lunch to close. The phenomenon developed out of the coronavirus lockdowns in 2020. People were locked up in their homes for months at a stretch, and ‘photo dumps’ were a way to share what people were doing with their lives at the time.

Today, photo dumps are still around, but they’re less common than in the early 2020s. Many influencers still publish photo dumps. You can find them on Instagram, and they are usually in the lifestyle category of images.

Example Usage

“I’m about to drop this photo dump on my Instagram account. I better let my followers know so they can start liking the images.”

“I love this photo dump trend. There are so many cool images from people all around the world. I love seeing what influencers in different countries are up to with their life.”

“There’s a new photo dump available from your favorite account. Check it out now. I hear it’s great.”

“What on earth is a photo dump? I don’t use Instagram anymore. That’s for boomers. Call me when they have the same thing on TikTok.”

“Your photo dump was really classy; I liked it a lot. How do you take such amazing pictures? I wish I had talent behind the lens like you.”


The ‘photo dump’ originated from the internet and social media culture in the 2020s. However, the first use of photo dumps occurred on social media platforms like Facebook and Myspace. It wasn’t until the 2020 lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic that people started the modern version of the ‘photo dump.’

Millennials and Gen Zs invented the modern photo dump, releasing collections of images onto their accounts on social media platforms like Instagram. However, unlike the previous versions of photo dumps on Facebook and Myspace, these images are high-resolution and easy to access and share.

Phrases Similar to Photo Dump

  • Photo drop.

Phrases Opposite to Photo Dump

  • Video dump.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Photo dump.

Ways People May Say Photo Dump Incorrectly

A photo dump is a unique practice on specific social media sites. It refers to dropping a large number of images. However, the photo dump doesn’t refer to collecting physical photographs in a family photo album.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Photo Dump

You can use the phrase ‘photo dump’ to describe a collection of curated photos published on Instagram. ‘Photo dump’ is a unique term used on social media platforms, describing the action of dropping a bunch of pictures in your account or feed for people to view.

The photo dump became popular in the lockdown era of 2020 and 2021, but it’s fading in popularity as the world returns to normal. The rise of the social media platform TikTok also contributed to the failure of the photo dump trend to catch on in the popular online culture.

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