The rise, journey, and success of Instagram

Instagram, one of the world’s leading social media giants. Some of the most popular social sites, such as; If Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Messenger, and Instagram do not stand in line, the list of popular social media will remain incomplete. Instagram is the fastest growing platform among smartphone-based social media, in addition to its dominance in image-sharing social media. Due to its high share of visual content in fitness, traveling, beauty, and fashion-feelgood style, Instagram is a popular social media platform for all celebrities, film stars, influencers from teenagers around the world. According to an article by Backlinkco, Instar is currently the fourth largest social media site in the world with 1.38 billion active users as of September 10, 2021.


In 2009, 26-year-old Kevin Systrom was working for a travel recommendation startup called Nextstop. Then the idea of ​​a new app came to his mind. The idea was that the app would have Location Check-in as well as some features like Future Meetup Plan and Meetup Picture Post with friends.

Kevin Systems, a graduate of Stanford University, had no previous experience in computer science and coding. However, Systrom has previously worked at Google as a Corporate Development Associate. So Kevin continues to learn coding by finding out his weekly vacation as well as leisure time. At one point in his coding practice, he created a web app prototype called Burbn. He joined a Silicon Valley-based start-up party in March 2010, where he met investors from two venture capital firms, Baseline Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz. It was at that party that Kevin showed the prototype of Burbn to the two of them. After seeing the prototype, they expressed interest in the app and set a time and place for the next meeting. After a lengthy meeting with two investors, Kevin resigned from his job at Nextstop and turned his full attention to Burbn.

Within two weeks, he was able to obtain, 500,000 in seed funding from two venture capital firms. Soon after receiving the funding, he decided to form a full-fledged team. While studying at Stanford, he met Michael Krieger, another student at that university. Kevin recruited Krieger to make Burbn stand on a full structure.

Krieger previously worked as an ‘engineer’ and ‘user experience designer’ on a social media platform called ‘Meebo’. The two continue to do more hair analysis with Burbn. They focused on a total of three aspects of the study. These are Check-in, Meetup Plan, and Photo Sharing.

The ‘Photo Sharing’ aspect is more popular among users than the ‘Check-in’ and ‘Meetup’ plans – this is the result of research. That’s why they started a lot of discussions about the pictures taken on mobile phones and the pictures shared on social media. First of all, the main subject of their research is the photography apps in the market. At that time, they were looking for a digital photography app called ‘Hipstamatic’, which was very popular in the market at that time. Although the app has various eye-catching filters, there was no option to share pictures on social media. They thought it was necessary to create an app that would allow filtered images to be shared on social media.

With that in mind, they created an app with a combination of ‘Hipstamatic’ and ‘Facebook’ features. The app was later renamed Instagram. The word Instagram is basically a combination of the words ‘Instant Camera’ and ‘Telegram’.

In the beginning, they focused on increasing the photo-sharing experience. Their main goal was to have a few features in the app, but they will be very useful to users. They update the app a total of 5 times in 6 weeks. Then experiment with different versions of it using friends. The app was launched on October 7, 2010, after various changes and bug fixes based on that test. However, in the beginning, the app was only opened for iPhone. Because the camera feature of the iPhone 4, which was released on June 24, 2010, gained a lot of fame. The instant filter also adds fresh air to that feature sail. As a result, people are becoming more interested in photography. That’s why Insta is able to quickly gain popularity among users. It was downloaded 25,000 times on the first day of release, reaching 100,000 homes by the end of the week.

In December of that year, the number of users of the Instagram app exceeded one million. Seeing the unprecedented growth and success of Instagram, many more investors are interested in investing in it. In February 2011, Instagram was able to raise 8 million from Series A funding. As a result, Instagram like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter also came into the public limelight quickly. Since 2011, various celebrities have started opening their own accounts on Instagram. As it was possible to reach more and more fans easily, the stars were more interested in opening an account on this platform. Following celebrities, business brands are also starting to increase their focus on Instagram. Different influencers also started adapting to the platform. As a result, new celebrities, brands, and influencers began to flourish on Instagram.

In 2012, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said that if he was interested in Instagram, he would like to buy it for ২ 525 million. But Kevin Systrom did not give a green signal to Jack Dorsey’s proposal. In March of that year, the number of users of this Instagram app increased to 26 million. On the other hand, the Android operating system is gradually gaining popularity in the market. Following that, on April 3, the Instagram app was released in the Play Store for the Android 2.3 version. In less than a day, it crossed the 1 million download milestone.

Seeing the skyrocketing popularity of Instar, Facebook peeked into their interest. That same month, Facebook brought their 1 billion in cash and stock to Instagram. Kevin Systrom, however, stipulated that even though Instagram was under Facebook’s control, it would continue to operate as an independent company outside of Facebook’s control. By the end of April 2012, the number of monthly active users of Insta reached 50 million. Seven months later, in November, Instagram launched its website with a handful of features. On February 13, 2013, the number of active users of Instagram exceeded 100 million. The video-sharing feature was added to the app in June of that year. In November 2013, Instagram introduced ‘Sponsored Post Advertisement’ in the US market. In August of the following year, a number of business tools, including Insight and Analytics, were added to make Instagram ‘ad-friendly’. In the following years, Instagram began to introduce various advertising features. In 2014, they designed the app for the ‘Amazon Fire’ device. Finally, in September 2015, Instagram unveiled a global ad feature.

In early versions of the Instagram app, their media display had a square ratio (proportions equal to length and width; 1: 1). This means that Instagram users could then only upload 640-pixel length images. In 2015, that feature was changed, so that images with a length of more than 1080 pixels can be uploaded. Instagram reached the milestone of 500 million active users in June 2017. That year, Instagram was released for tablets and computers running Microsoft Windows. Story features like Snapchat were added in August for the purpose of innovation. The feature became popular overnight. According to 99Firms, about 500 million Insta users use this feature every day.

In November 2016, Instagram launched the ‘Shopping’ feature with twenty federal shopping businesses, and the feature was launched globally in March 2016. The shopping feature opened up new possibilities for buyers and sellers. The participating brands were given the opportunity to add decorative style products to their Instagram posts so that users could easily access various product information under one roof. Added to this was a button called ‘Shop Now’, which linked the feature directly to the retailer’s website. As soon as the feature came out, the collaboration graph of brands with celebrities and influencers on Instagram skyrocketed.

In June 2016, they launched a video platform called IGTV to compete with other video platforms in the market. In that month, Insta reached the homes of 1 billion active users. Then one of their goals was to compete with short video platforms. So in August 2020, a feature called ‘Reels’ was added to Instagram.

In terms of popularity as well as revenue, Instagram has shown enviable success. In 2015, the annual revenue of Insta was 500 million US dollars, in 2016 the revenue went to the house of 1.6 billion. In the years that followed, the rate of revenue doubled, tripled, or quadrupled. For example, in 2016, the revenue was 4.1 billion US dollars, but in 2016 it reached 10.3 billion US dollars. In 2021, which is about 24 billion US dollars. Although Insta shared 3.3 percent of total revenue with Facebook in 2015, it now stands at 36.9 percent (2020). However, in 2016 it was 16.1%.

The skyrocketing success and popularity of Instagram did not go unnoticed. Some well-planned and far-reaching findings have acted as a positive influence behind its triumph. Although there were many image-sharing apps in the market then only Instagram had the ‘social media share’ option. And the simple and attractive interface of the app was able to attract users very easily. Which can be called ‘Gorgeous in Simple’. Besides being just a mobile-based platform, Instagram has always kept an eye on its app optimization. Because their main goal was to keep the user experience always smooth and top-notch.

At the beginning of the smartphone journey, when users were addicted to visual media, Instagram used their attractive filter photo editing feature as bait. The fact that all the popular celebrities from all over the world have opened Instagram accounts has helped to increase the popularity of the app. As it is a visual-based social media, the integration of Instagram with e-commerce is very user-friendly. As a result, brands have quickly adapted to Instagram, and Instagram has become increasingly popular with users.

However, in addition to the reasons mentioned above, two timely decisions have paved the way for the current success of Instagram. The first is to give preference to Insta as a photo-sharing app from the check-in app based on the needs of the users. Second, to understand when a giant needs to collaborate with a company. The context of Yahoo or Snapchat can be taken as an example. Yahoo did not respond to requests for comment. Yahoo, once in the throes of popularity, is no better off today. Their market share is declining day by day. On the other hand, Snapchat is also losing popularity day by day. Considering that, it can be said that the pot of instar profit has overflowed. Understanding the situation, they have been sold to Facebook on the basis of ‘own terms’ at a price higher than the market value.

Instagram stats

  • About 1 billion active users from all over the world access Instagram every month.
  • About 500 million active users from all over the world access Instagram every day.
  • Instagram is currently the fourth most popular social media site (1.38 billion). Facebook (2.75 billion), YouTube (2.29 billion), and WhatsApp (1.6 billion) are ranked first, second, and third, respectively.
  • Of the 4.18 billion active mobile Internet users, 23.92% use Instagram every month. As a number which is equal to the total population living in Europe and North America.
  • According to a Ghost Data report, 95 million Instagram users could be fake bots.
  • Instagram is the most popular in India. There are about 160 million Instar users. It is followed by the United States (180 million), Brazil (110 million), Indonesia (93 million) and Russia (61 million).
  • People spend an average of 29 minutes every day on this Instagram. Of these, people under the age of 25 spend an average of 32 minutes and people over the age of 25 spend an average of 24 minutes.
  • People between the ages of 25-34 use Instagram the most. About 32.1% as a percentage. It is followed by people aged 18-24 with 29.9%. The percentage among 13-16 year olds is 8.5%.
  • From the beginning, Kevin Systrom wanted to keep his company small. So the Instar journey started with a team of 13 workers. Only 450 employees have been hired to control the 1.3 billion people on Instagram. On the other hand, their parent company Facebook has a total of 56 thousand employees.
  • Instagram is currently the most followed page on Instagram, with 436 million followers.
  • Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is in second place with 360 million followers. Third, fourth, and fifth are Kylie Jenner (26 million), Lionel Messi (26 million), and Dwayne Johnson (26 million).

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