Kanye West broke his social media hiatus for Valentines Day

He flooded his page with paparazzi pictures of some of pop culture’s most talked-about couples – including Kimye, obviously

As we’ve established, in the current Kardashian era of social media trends, it’s all about what you’re not seeing – or what you’re not sharing online. Fittingly, Kanye West has been taking a long hiatus from all social media, and caused a stir last night by suddenly posting on Instagram for the first time in several months. The nine-hour-long posting binge was the rapper's first social media activity since he deleted both his Twitter and Instagram accounts in May last year. 

His first snap was a Valentines Day card – normal enough, a bit PDA perhaps, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from the Kardashian-Jenner-West clan. But then came a flood of photos of iconic (and many tragic) celebrity couples. Basquiat and Madonna; Michael Jackson and his ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley; Brad Pitt and both of his ex-wives; Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain; Carrie and Big – the works. Many of these couples are no longer together. Some, like Whitney and Bobby, Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant, and Madonna and Sean Penn, ended in scandals, or abuse.

Many of the images used were paparazzi photos, which is an interesting continuation of Kanye's use of staged pap-style shots of Kim Kardashian for his latest Yeezy campaign. As Dazed's Emma Hope Allwood wrote about that lookbook in December 2017, "Instead of being at the mercy of the paps, the Yeezy shots make (Kardashian) and West the active players. They are in control of this narrative." Similarly, in this Instagram dump – which culminates in shots of Kimye, perhaps the most-papped couple in the world – West is once again playing with who has the agency, and who controls the story, when the paparazzi flashes go off.

West has an estranged relationship with social media, dipping in and out of Twitter after sporadic outbursts of activity and bold statements such as: “You may be talented, but you’re not Kanye West”. Maybe this Instagram splurge means he’s back for good, but I wouldn’t bank on it. See a few of the posts below, and more on his page.

Update: He’s deleted his Instagram