Instagram allows you to create and share your photos, stories, and videos with the friends and followers you care about. Connect with friends, share what you're up to, or see what's new from others all over the world. Instagram also supports direct messaging, so you can chat with friends in private.

Quick Facts


  • Ranked #5th worldwide
  • Active users 1.16 b
  • Type Media Sharing Networks
  • Launched date Oct 6, 2010
  • Employees 450
  • Headquarters Menlo Park, California, U.S.
  • Parent company Facebook (2012 - present)


Kevin Systrom Massachusetts
Mike Krieger


  • Brand value In 2020 $2.82 b
  • Revenue in 2020 $14 b
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A

Data Graphs


Merger and Acquisition

Merger and AcquisitionMark Zuckerberg’s Facebook acquired Instagram for $1B. (via

In Apr 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1B, a company with 13 employees. At the time of its acquisition, Instagram had 30M users, even though it was growing rapidly, it wasn’t yet making money.

A New York Post article published on Feb 26, 2019, reported that "the FTC had uncovered a document by a high-ranking Facebook executive who said the reason the company was buying Instagram was to eliminate a potential competitor".

On Dec 8, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 46 US states, the District of Columbia, and Guam, launched an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook. The lawsuit concerns Facebook's acquisition of two competitors - Instagram and WhatsApp.

FTC alleges that Facebook holds monopolistic power in the US social networking market and seeks to force the company to divest from Instagram and WhatsApp to break up the conglomerate.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file for a permanent injunction and other equitable relief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia was 3-2. Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson voted no.

The Awards

The AwardsThe Shorty Awards. (via

Instagram was the runner-up for "Best Mobile App" at the 2010 TechCrunch Crunchies in Jan 2011. In May 2011, Fast Company listed CEO Kevin Systrom at number 66 in "The 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2011".

In Jun 2011, Inc. included co-founders Systrom and Krieger in its 2011 "30 Under 30" list. In Dec, Apple Inc. named Instagram the "App of the Year" for 2011.

In 2012, In a win that’s far greater than their recent acquisition by Facebook, popular photo-sharing app Instagram won the Apps Shorty Award, presented by PepsiCo. Watch cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger accept via video at the 4th Annual Shorty Awards.

In 2015, Instagram was named No. 1 by Mashable on its list of "The 100 best iPhone apps of all time," noting Instagram as "one of the most influential social networks in the world." Instagram was listed among Time's "50 Best Android Applications for 2013" list.

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

In 2009, Kevin Systrom, a 27-year-old Stanford University graduate, was working at Nextstop, a travel recommendations startup. Systrom had previously worked at Google as a corporate development associate and interned at Odeo (a company that would later evolve into Twitter).

In 2010, Kevin had no formal training in computer and coding, but he loved it. He learned to code at night after work and on the weekends.

After learning to code, he built an HTML5 prototype called Burbn (the name was inspired by his love of fine whiskeys and bourbon). The Burbn app allowed users to check in, post their plans, and share photos.

In Mar 2010 when Systrom attended a party for Hunch, a startup based in Silicon Valley. He had raised $500,000 in seed funding from both Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz to further develop his entrepreneurial venture.

The first to join him was 25-year-old Mike Krieger, a Stanford graduate. Krieger had previously worked as an engineer and user-experience designer at the social media platform Meebo. The two knew each other from their time as students at Stanford.

They renamed the app Instagram, a portmanteau of "instant camera" and "telegram". The Instagram app was launched on Oct 6, 2010, and racked up 25,000 users in one day.

Brief History

Oct Kevin Systrom started working on the project with the name Burbn.
Mar Systrom closes a US$500,000 seed funding round with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz while working on Burbn.
May Mike Krieger joins the Burbn project.
Oct Instagram launched (from Systrom and Krieger). It nabs 100,000 users in one week.
Dec 1M users.
Jan Instagram adds hashtags to help users discover both photographs and each other.
Feb Instagram has raised US$7M in Series A funding from a variety of investors. The deal values Instagram at around $25M.
Jun 5M monthly active users.
Sep 10M monthly active users.

Version 2.0 of Instagram goes live in the App Store (iOS) with four new filters.

Apr Instagram is released for Android phones running the 2.2 Froyo version of the OS, and it is downloaded more than one million times in less than one day.

Facebook acquired Instagram for approximately US$1B in cash and stock.

50M monthly active users.

Jun Launched Vine, a short-form video sharing service.
Dec Instagram updates its Terms of Service, granting itself the right to sell users' photos to third parties without notification or compensation.
Feb 100M monthly active users.
May Introduced photo tagging and "Photos of You".
Jun Launched video sharing.
Jul Instagram makes it easier to share posts by adding links to embed photos and videos.
Sep 150M monthly active users.
Nov Instagram introduces sponsored post advertising targeting US users.

Instagram adds Direct, a feature that allows users to send photos to specific people directly from the app.

Mar 200M monthly active users.
Jun Instagram launches new Editing tools: Fade and Color.
Aug Instagram hires Facebook's James Quarles as global head of business and brand development.
Jun Instagram bolsters up its advertising capabilities.
Sep Instagram allowed advertisers to share 30-second in-feed video ads.

Instagram ads go global.

400M monthly active users.

Oct Launched Boomerang, an app where the user shoots a one-second burst of five photos.
Nov Instagram kills off support from feed-reading applications.
Feb Instagram starts enabling users to easily switch between multiple accounts.
Mar Instagram switches its feed from chronological to algorithmically-driven best posts first.
May Introduced a New Look, Colourful Icon.

Instagram launches ​new Business tools - including analytics that allow users to see audience demographics, post impressions, and reach.

Jun 500M monthly active users.

Instagram announces instant translation feature.

Aug Launched Instagram Stories.

Instagram brings in Image Zoom, allowing users to zoom into images.

Sep Instagram removes the Photo Maps feature from its mobile apps.
Oct Launched a desktop client for the first time on the Windows 10 platform.
Nov Launched live video; photos and videos for Instagram Direct.

Instagram releases Shoppable Tags.

Dec 600M monthly active users.
Feb Launched the ability to share a mix of up to 10 photos or videos in one post.
May Introduced a mute button.
Jun Instagram announced the launch of IGTV (Instagram TV).
Mar Introduced a Checkout feature.
Oct Instagram removed the "Following" activity tab.
May Launched a new Guides feature.
Aug Instagram rolled out Reels, a short-form video feature designed to compete against TikTok.
Mar Launched Live Rooms.
May Instagram announced a new accessibility feature for videos on Instagram Reels and Stories to allow creators to place closed captions on their content.

Network Features


ProfilesLEGO (@lego). (via

Instagram Profile: include a Name, Username (i.e. @username), a recognizable profile picture, Bio, Profile picture, Website, and CTA buttons. There are three types of accounts Instagram offers:

IG Personal account is a majority of Instagram users sign up for. You can create Posts, Stories, and Live videos. You can set a personal Instagram profile to be a private account, which means only your followers can see your content.

IG Business accounts are created for local businesses, brands, organizations, and service providers.

The options this type of account has the same as the creator profiles: Analytics, the possibility of adding CTA buttons, post promotions.

IG Creator accounts are mainly directed to public personalities, bloggers, artists, or athletes..


ExploreInstagram Explore. (via

Explore is where Instagram curates content for its users. Appearing on the same page as the search function, it presents different posts for every user from accounts they don’t yet follow based on their past likes and interests.

Members of the Imgur community can vote and comment on the images, earning reputation points and trophies.

IGTV (Instagram TV) is Instagram’s foray into long-form, vertical video content on mobile. It isn't limited to one minute and takes over your entire screen. IGTV is personalized to you, making it easy to discover and watch videos from Creators you follow—or may want to follow. IGTV has also released new features to help businesses and creators to make money on the platform.

IGTV Shopping allows businesses to tag products directly within their video content, so viewers can seamlessly tap to shop while consuming video content.

IGTV Ads are a new way for creators to monetize their IGTV content. They are vertical videos, last up to 15 seconds long, and mobile-optimized.

IGTV Video

IGTV VideoInstagram TV. (via

IGTV Video is an app that can be used alone or in tandem with Instagram. It's essentially Instagram's answer to YouTube in that it's designed for the mobile-optimized viewing of long-form videos. Any user can set up their channel and share video content that's up to an hour-long.

Instagram Direct

Instagram DirectInstagram Direct. (via

Instagram Direct: a feature that lets users interact through private messaging. Users who follow each other can send private messages with photos and videos, in contrast to the public-only requirement that was previously in place. Users can send a photo to a maximum of 15 people. A camera inside Direct lets users take a photo and send it to the recipient without leaving the conversation.

In Aug 2020, Facebook started merging Instagram Direct into Facebook Messenger. After the update, the Instagram Direct icon transforms into a Facebook Messenger icon.

Instagram Stories: a feature that allows users to take photos, add effects and layers, add music directly from other apps like Spotify, SoundCloud, and Shazam to their Instagram story. Images uploaded to a user's story expire after 24 hours.

Instagram Stickers: are customized animated gifs you can use on your Instagram Stories. Using stickers can make your stories more interesting and adds that extra flair for a more engaging story.

In Nov, Instagram added live video functionality to Instagram Stories, allowing users to broadcast themselves live, with the video disappearing immediately after ending.

Instagram Reels: a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.

Instagram users can record and edit together 15 to 30-second video clips set to music and share them to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the Reels tab on a user’s profile.

Boomerang first showed up in 2015 as a video app created by Instagram that allowed you to record looping videos that looked just like animated GIFs.

Instagram Guides are a curated group of posts with commentary that can be applied to share all kinds of information: a list of favorite products, a how-to guide, a list of recommendations, a collection of favorite locations… you get the idea.

There are three types of guides: Places: Recommend places in your city or that you have visited. Products: Recommend products that you liked or are your favorites. Posts: Recommend your posts or the ones you have saved.

Instagram Shopping is a feature that allows eCommerce brands to create a digital, shareable catalog of their products right on Instagram.

Instagram Donations: Instagram allows eligible nonprofits and their supporters to raise money for charity directly on Instagram in a few ways - a Profile donates button, Donation Sticker in Stories, and Live Donations.

Augmented reality (AR) filters are computer-generated effects layered over the real-life image your camera displays. In Instagram Stories, an AR filter alters the image your front or back camera displays. Through the AR filter, brands can create various effects, essentially allowing users to try on items before buying them as they would in the store.


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