The History of Instagram

Instagram is the number one photo and video-sharing application in the world. In fact, it could be reasonably safe to assume that the next person you run into on the street would be one of its one billions users

Instagram usage has expanded much beyond personal pleasure. Over 25 million businesses from big to small are now on Instagram. People have even built their livelihoods around Instagram, with the influencer industry that has emerged and continues to grow every day. Instagram is a societal powerhouse, influencing several facets of our everyday lives and popular culture. 

The Beginning

Instagram was created in San Francisco, California, by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Before it was given the name Instagram, Systrom had created a prototype of the app that he called Burbn. It looked quite different than it does today as it was a mobile check-in app similar to Foursquare. 

Systrom and Krieger felt that the app was too similar to existing mobile apps. They shifted their approach and put their energy into making Instagram’s focus on photo-sharing and communication through those images. That is how the name “Instagram” was born, as it is referring to how users are essentially sending a type of instant telegram.

According to Systrom, the app only took eight weeks to build. It launched in 2010 and had quick success as it garnered over one million users in just two months. 

Facebook Acquires Instagram

By March 2012, Instagram had grown to over 27 million users. The following month, Instagram was released for Android users, and it was downloaded over one million times in just one day. Not long after that, Facebook acquired the app in a one billion dollar deal.

At the time of the acquisition, Instagram had 30 million users and zero revenue. Now Instagram has over one billion users and generates billions in revenue.

Continuous Growth And Improvement

In November 2012, Instagram made a limited-feature website interface available. In June 2014, the company introduced an app for the Amazon Fire device, and in 2016, it created an app that made it compatible with Microsoft Windows tablets and computers.  

Instagram continuously designs new features to support individual users, businesses, and brands in an ever-changing market. It provides avenues for content creators to engage with their audience in both meaningful and profitable ways. 

Over time Instagram has added features such as the explore page, stories, reels, direct messaging, IGTV, and many many more. These new features for both individual users and businesses only continue to be innovated and updated to maximize user experience on the platform.

The Future

While Instagram has been continually growing and changing, it has remained a user-friendly app that people have continued to love and grow with. What once started as a small project by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger has grown into a tech giant that surpassed all of their wildest expectations.

Instagram has created businesses, careers, subgenres, all the while successfully disrupting whole industries. It has become an integral part of many people’s routines and daily lives. There is no denying that the app’s impact on society has been significant, and it will likely stay that way

The impressive number of one billion active users does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. So what is next for Instagram?  While no one really knows for sure, it is safe to say that the photo and video sharing app will continue to stick around, innovate, and break barriers. 


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Author: Alexandra Jalliet