Tech Apps

Instagram Turns 10: Looking Back At The App’s Eventful Decade

As Instagram turns 10 today we take a look at some of the app's highlights from its debut as a photo-sharing app to now a social media marketing platform.

Instagram is now ten years old. The app which started as a photo-sharing app took the social world by storm, and still continues to do so. But what Instagram looks like now and what it offers is completely different from what it did ten years ago. Products evolve overtime and so did Instagram with the app now being one of the most powerful social media marketing platforms.

Instagram was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger who headed the company as the CEO and Head of Engineering respectively. Instagram is now headed by Facebook executive Adam Mosseri after the co-founders left the company. More on this and nine other highlights of Instagram’s 10-years journey.

First post on Instagram

Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram posted the first photo on the app on July 16, 2010 almost three months before the app’s release. Krieger took the photo from an office in San Francisco. The next day, Systrom posted a photo of his dog with the caption “test.”

Instagram launches on iOS

Two months later October 6, 2010, Instagram launched on iOS platform, Instagram was optimized for the iPhone with 1:1 aspect ratio photos allowed on the app. If you’re an early Instagram user, and not on an iPhone you would remember having your photo cropped to fit the square design. Instagram launched two years later on Android in April 2012. By then the hype was big and the app was reportedly downloaded over 1 million times on Android in less than one day.

Facebook buys Instagram

The same year Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion. Instagram was still a small company with just 13 employees. Instagram was Facebook’s first major acquisition as the company’s previous deals were mostly below $100 million.

Facebook brings ads to Instagram 

Facebook introduced ads on Instagram three years later in 2015. In its announcement, Facebook said, “Marketers use Instagram to tell visual and creative stories related to their business, and now all marketers have access to Instagram ads.” Fast forward to 2020, Instagram is now a major platform for brands, influencers, and businesses to market their products.

Instagram copies Snapchat

‘Stories’ was the first major “feature” Instagram launched on its app. It took Snapchat’s core game of posting disappearing photos and videos, and turned it into what’s now a product within a product. Instagram Stories are used by over 500 million accounts every day. It is also a popular platform for brands to advertise their products.

Instagram reaches 1 billion users 

Instagram reached its milestone of 1 billion users in 2018. The app has users globally with the most number of users from the US (130 million) followed by India (100 million), according to Statista. Instagram caters to an age group that’s younger than 34 years old with 18-24 being its most popular age group.

Instagram co-founders leave the company

Shortly after this announcement, Instagram co-founders announced they were leaving the company. The reason behind their departure wasn’t revealed but multiple reports cited disagreements between the co-founders and Zuckerberg. But a very detailed 12,000-word story on the events that occurred that led to their departure was published by Wired.

Most liked photo on Instagram

Moving on to some “fun” events on Instagram. In January 2019, a photo of an egg managed to become the most liked post on Instagram beating Kylie Jenner. The world record egg is still the most liked post on Instagram with over 54 million likes.

Instagram launches in-app payments

Instagram shopping was introduced in 2018 where users could tap on products to find out more details, and easily visit the site to purchase them. Instagram took this further with the launch of “Checkout” the following year. This made it possible for users to purchase products on Instagram without leaving the app. It launched first in the US with select brands. Instagram today announced it is launching shopping on IGTV, and soon on Reels too.

Instagram copies another app

Turns out copying Snapchat wasn’t enough as the next app Instagram copied was TikTok. It launched Reels as a test in Brazil in 2019, and brought the app to India earlier this year shortly after TikTok was banned. Few weeks later, Instagram Reels launched globally including the US where TikTok is still facing an uncertain future.

If you want dive down memory lane with Instagram then you can choose one of its older logos and replace it on your phone. Instagram has an Easter Egg for that. It also launched a Stories map and calendar that features Stories you shared in the last three years.