Instagram; Image and video Sharing Social Media

7 Jan 2023

Instagram is an app that allows the user to have photos or videos that he/she wants to share with friends and family. It is owned by the Facebook company now. It also allows the user to take and edit the picture and photos to be posted. Other Instagram users (friends and relatives) can follow to see the post on Instagram. Following friends and family, as well as celebrities and athletes, keep one up to date with all about them. It is one of the top social media used today.


With a view of creating a check-in app, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger began the development of Burbn in San Francisco. This app was quite similar to Foursquare with the same motive. So, Systrom and Krieger refocused their app on photo-sharing to reduce the mirror image of Brubn with Foursquare. This feature had become more popular among users since this feature was unique among the location-based Check-in app. They renamed the app Instagram combining two names of applications "instant camera" and "telegram".

The Beginnings of Instagram

Systrom started working on Burbn on October 21, 2009. He had closed around a US$500,000 seed funding round with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz on March 5, 2010, for the project. Mike Krieger joined the Burbn project on May 19, 2010. The first employee of Instagram, Josh Riedel joined the company as Community Manager in October 2010.

First Instagram Post

Mike Krieger posted the first post with a photo of South Beach Harbor at Pier 38 at 5: 26 PM on July 16, 2010. Systrom also shared a picture of a dog on the same day at 9: 24 PM. However, the post with the picture of the dog was wrongly attributed as the first post on it. It is due to the earlier letter of the alphabet in its URL.

Instagram Launch

The company released the Instagram iOS app officially through the app store on October 6, 2010. The launch was done with the motive of communicating through images. It grabbed 100k users in one week. By the same year, December 12, there were 1 million users on it.

Instagram added hashtags (#word) to help users discover both photographs and each other. So, Tagging the photograph with a relevant and specific one makes the photographs stand out and attractive to users. This feature was introduced in 2011 January.

In September 2011 Version 2.0 of Instagram went live in the App Store for iOS. And, inclusive of new and live filters and high-resolution photographs, instant tilt-shift, optional borders, and one-click rotation, Instagram launched this version. It also had an updated icon by the version.

Instagram released it for the sixth version of Android phones running with the 2.2 Froyo version of the OS on April 3, 2012. More than one million times, users have downloaded it in less than one day.

Acquisition by Facebook:

Facebook acquired Instagram for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock on April 9, 2012. Also, on The same day, it raised US$ 50 million from venture capitalists. In the second place, this process valued Instagram at US$500 million. The user's growth hits about 50 million users per month by April 30, 2012.

Launch of additional Feature

Instagram updated its terms of service with the motive of granting the right to sell users' photos to third parties on December 17, 2012. Finally, Instagram implemented the updated term of service on January 16, 2013. The monthly active users increased to 100 million.

In May 2013, Instagram introduced a new photo-tagging process. It also introduced "Photos of You," a new tab on a user's profile with a list of every tagged picture of the user. Instagram launched videos sharing feature on June 13 of the same year. Also, Instagram made it easier to share posts by adding links to set photos and videos in July 2013. The number of monthly active users hits 150 million by September 2013.

Editing tools and boomerang

Instagram added Some features of the image editing tools to customize the image characteristics like shadows, brightness, highlights, and brightness in June 2014. In 2015, October, it launched Boomerang. Boomerang is an app to create a silent and short video of about one or two seconds that plays forward and backwards in a loop.

The users had Instagram to switch between multiple accounts on march 15, 2016 easily. It also introduced a new look with updated icons and an app designed for it on May 11, 2016. In June 2016, it announced an instant translation feature. One can translate text written in different languages.

Instagram introduced the Image Zoom feature in August 2016. It allows users to zoom into images. The company claimed that the Photo Maps feature was not widely used on mobile phones. So, It removed this feature from its mobile apps in September 2016.

Instagram launched a desktop client on the Windows 10 platform on October 13, 2016, for the first time. The desktop user with windows 10 can download it via the Windows Store and get benefited from its features.

Launch Live videos

On 21 November 2016, Instagram launched a live video. It allows users to broadcast live on Instagram with a time limit of one hour. There is no provision to save Live videos. So, they are removed from the service once a user is done broadcasting. It also launched disappearing photos and videos for the Instagram Direct feature on the same day. The images and videos sent using this method disappear after a certain amount of time. Instagram had over 600 million monthly active users.

Instagram launched a feature that allows users to post multiple photos in one post on 22 February 2017. The posted photos are presented in a slideshow-like fashion. It also introduced the new "mute" feature on 22 May 2018. One can hide posts from certain users on the feed without unfollowing the account.

Launch of IGTV

Instagram announced the launch of IGTV in June 2018. IGTV is a video platform. It was launched to compete against YouTube. With the feature, users will be able to upload videos of up to 10 minutes. Also, creators and accounts with larger audiences can upload videos of up to one hour. There will be a dedicated button for IGTV in the Instagram app, in addition to a standalone app released that same day.

Instagram removed the "Following" activity tab in October 2019. This activity tab had the provision for users to see what the other users they were following would like, comment on, and other such activities. In May 2020, Instagram launched a new feature "Guides". This feature enables users to engage with wellness-focused creators to take part in mental health discussions.

Controversy on Instagram

In November 2013, The BBC investigated the role of Instagram in the sales of illicit drugs. And, It had discovered that mostly the users with locations in the US were posting pictures of drugs with the motive of selling them. They were completing the transaction process via. an instant messaging application. So, it acted in response by blocking the corresponding hashtags. Also, in the same month, it introduced sponsored post advertising targeting US users.

A daily tabloid newspaper, The Daily Star reported in March 2016 that, a tech blogger Jed Ismael has found 'one million' explicit porn films on Instagram. Although Instagram has no nudity policies with banned English explicit hashtags, Jed Ismael found such a site with the use of non-English hashtags. The company is investigating it.

Instagram Compete with Snapchat

Instagram added Direct with the primary intention to compete against messaging services including Snapchat. This feature allows users to send photos to specific people directly from the app. Instagram launched this product on 12 December 2013, subsequently, the announcement of Snapchat made to poach Emily White; the Director of Business operation of Instagram in the same month. By the end of March 2014, there were about 200 million monthly active users.

On August 2, 2016, it launched Instagram Stories which works like Snapchat Stories. One can post 24-hour slideshows of ephemeral photos and videos. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom openly stated that they copied the feature from Snapchat, based on the success of Snapchat stories. In short, with the motive of attracting users away from Snapchat, it added this feature.


In Conclusion, Instagram is in the sixth position by the number of users and its popularity. The data that I presented here is based on the research I made in 2022. There might be some changes in the future.

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