Instagram is 10 years old now. The app that began as a photo-sharing app has taken the social world by storm and continues to do so. But what Instagram looks like today is totally different from what it did ten years ago, and what it offers. Overtime products are changing and so Instagram has become one of the most successful social media marketing channels now with the app.
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, who led the company as CEO and Head of Engineering, founded Instagram. After the co-founders left the company in 2018, Instagram is now headed by Facebook executive Adam Mosseri. More on this and nine other highlights of a 10-year journey on Instagram.
On July 16, 2010, nearly three months before the release of the app, Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram, posted the first picture on the app. The photograph was taken by Krieger from an office in San Francisco. Systrom shared a picture of his dog with the caption “test” the next day.
Two months later, on October 6, 2010, Instagram debuted on iOS. For the iPhone with 1:1 aspect ratio images enabled on the app, Instagram was optimized. You’d recall seeing your picture cropped to match the square style if you’re an early Instagram user, and not on an iPhone. Two years later, Instagram was released in April 2012 on Android. By then, the buzz was massive, and in less than a day, the app was officially downloaded over 1 million times on Android. Instagram relaxed the limitations only in 2015 and approved 1080p images.
The same year, Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion. With only 13 employees, Instagram was only a small business. As the company’s previous acquisitions were mainly below $100 million, Instagram was Facebook’s first major acquisition.
Three years later, in 2015, Facebook launched advertisements on Instagram. In its announcement, Facebook said, “Marketers use Instagram to tell their company-related visual and artistic stories, and now all marketers have access to Instagram advertising.” Instagram is now a major forum for brands, influencers, and corporations to sell their products quickly until 2020.
The first big “feature” that Instagram introduced on its app was ‘Stories.’ It took the core game of sharing missing pictures and videos from Snapchat, and transformed it into what’s now a product inside a product. Over 500 million accounts are used daily for Instagram Posts. For brands to advertise their goods, it is also a common medium.
Instagram hit its 1 billion-user mark in 2018. The app has users from the US (130 million) with the highest number of users worldwide, followed by India (100 million). Instagram caters to an age group younger than 34 years of age, with the most common age group being 18-24.
Instagram co-founders shortly after this announcement revealed that they were leaving the company. The reason behind their departure was not disclosed, but differences between the co-founders and Zuckerberg were cited in many studies.
In 2018, Instagram shopping was launched where users could tap items to find out more information and quickly visit the website to buy them. With the advent of “Checkout” the following year, Instagram took this further. This made it possible for users, without leaving the app, to buy items on Instagram.
Recently, Instagram launched Reels in Brazil and India which is a copy of TikTok.
Instagram started as a photo-sharing app in 2010 and after 10 years, it has become one of the most powerful tools for advertisers, businesses, marketers, celebrities, creators, and artists. The whole 10-year journey is a perfect example of evolution with time.