Just as our interest in the Tom Hiddleston-Taylor Swift pairing was beginning wane, one half of Hiddleswift (don’t make us say that word again) snatches us back in again. With a single, close-up selfie, Hiddleston christened his new Instagram account @twhiddleston early Tuesday. Over the first seven hours of the account’s existence, the photo has racked up just more than 60,000 favorites and the account has earned nearly 300,000 followers — and it’s growing by the minute. Hiddleston, for his part, has followed exactly no one, so we’re not convinced he knows how this works yet. (His new Instagram is not to be confused with mirror account @twhiddleton, created within hours of Hiddleston’s own and with just shy of 4,000 followers and precisely one follow: Taylor Swift.) It’s not every day that a star joins Instagram, so let’s read way into it.
“He’s back!” the photo, which depicted Hiddleston in full Loki regalia for his upcoming film Thor: Ragnarok, was captioned. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that Hiddleston is an actor with a successful big-budget franchise and a human who exists independent of the Taylor Swift publicity machine (and happens to also wear tanks proclaiming his love for the pop star). So who is back — Hiddleston as we once knew him, in the pre-Swift era, or simply his Thor character? (It’s also worth noting that Hiddleston has joined Instagram just as Swift has stepped back from her own social media — though we’re not yet sure what, if anything, to make of that.)
Hiddleston has been notoriously social media-shy over his career — he’s tight-lipped about his personal life (well, until Taylor came along) and he described Twitter as “distracting” to New York magazine back in April. But Instagram Tom Hiddleston is a whole new dude, unafraid to snap a selfie. Everyone, please give a warm welcome to @twhiddleston.