Instagram has over one billion daily users, with over 71% of this number being under the age of 35.
How and when was it created?
The first version of Instagram was launched on 6th October 2010. It’s creators, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger wanted to offer the world an app to allow users to share photos from their mobiles, giving them the chance to add ‘filters’ to help enhance the original image. The first Instagram prototype was called ‘Burdn’ and was actually created as a bit of an experiment help Kevin Systrom learn html coding. The name was inspired by Kevin’s love for fine whiskeys and bourbon, but as is evident - this name didn’t quite catch on.
Initially Instagram was only available for the iPhone. Android users had to wait until 2012 before a version was available for those devices, but by this time had already proven its popularity - seeing as it was downloaded over 1 million times in less than 24 hours. The growth of Instagram has been mammoth. In 2014, daily users reached a substantial 300 million, and there’s over 1 billion active Instagram profiles.
Currently, Instagram is the fourth most popular social media channel - in terms of active users. Facebook continues to take first place, followed by WhatsApp and Youtube.
Facebook CEO buys Instagram
The creator and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, bought Instagram in 2012 for almost $1 billion. This turned out to be a savvy purchase, considering Instagram is now seen as one of the most profitable businesses in the technology sector.
The use of hashtags ‘#’
Arguable one of the biggest successes of Instagram, hashtags make user content easier to find and categorise. If you’re interested in a particular topic, theme or idea, hashtags make the search much simpler. Using a particular hashtag can attract people to your posts and help to increase ‘likes’ and general engagement levels.
An example of a hashtag is #TBT. This is one of the most well-known on instagram. It means ‘Throwback Thursday’ and is used (unsurprisingly) on Thursdays as an opportunity to upload old photos, a great way to reutilise previously created content. Brands use hashtags primarily to help promote their products or services. It’s estimated around 70% of hashtags are created for this purpose. Did you know? The most used hashtag in the world is #love.
Instagram Stories were created in 2016, similar to Snapchat - these posts are temporary and disappear after 24 hours. More recently Instagram introduced the option to ‘Highlight’ Stories, meaning content that had previously ‘disappeared’ after the alloted 24 hours can now be shown on an account’s profile page. Approximately 250 million Stories are published everyday. You can also use hashtags on ‘Stories’ to further help your profile engagement levels.
The first selfie - on Instagram
‘Selfie’, the slang term for self-portrait has become part of everyday 21st century language. Though, of course, taking a photo of yourself is not a new invention. The first official Instagram selfie was published only 3 months after its creation in 2010, by @jennlee.
Photos with the most likes
The photo with the most likes of Instagram belongs to the ‘influencer’ and model Kylie Jenner. This photo of the model’s first daughter Stormi broke all records, receiving more than 13 million "likes" within 24 hours. The second most ‘liked’ photo on Instagram is one from footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, once again a family shot - a picture of his daughter Alana Martina. The place for the most ‘likes’ goes to Beyonce and her photo announcing the arrival of her twins. We think it’s fair to say, baby photos are a winner when it comes to Instagram!
Instagram 'influencers’ - who have the followers on Instagram?
Instagram holds the top spot for followers on its own social network, with 315 million followers. In at number two, with around 187 million followers is Cristiano Ronaldo. Ariana Grande is the third most popular person on Instagram, with 166 million followers. Singer and personality Selena Gomez takes fourth position with 166 million followers and Beyonce closely behind, with 134 million followers.
The success of Instagram is unquestionable, the data speaks for itself. It is certainly the social media app of the moment. But, like all technology, it all has a sell-by-date. How long will Instagram keep its popularity status? Who knows, but time will surely tell. It’s the ability to offer the user something different that help keep interest and ensures longevity. We can’t wait to see what Instagram has in store for us in 2020…!