Instagram evolution

Instagram Evolution History

Day after day, people launch new apps expecting to call the attention of potential buyers.

In 2010, two friends Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched an app now known for the world as Instagram. As it happens most of the time, they had no idea such app would be so popular among users.

In fact, just two months after Instagram was launched, a million people joined the platform. At first, Instagram was only available for iPhones, but as the app started to become popular it was updated to be used also on Android.

instagram in its early years

Instagram In 2011

In 2011, Instagram added what now everyone knows as hashtags. Hashtags were used and continue to be used to relate a word with a photo or text posted on almost any social platform.

Twitter, Facebook, and even Google+. However, Instagram was not the first app to use the so famous hashtags. In fact, they were used for the first time on Twitter in 2007.

Hashtags were invented by Chris Messina, a technology evangelist who asked in a tweet how people would feel to use the symbol # for groups.

instagram hashtags history

Instagram In 2012

In 2012, Instagram had already gained over 30 million users. It was clear, the photo-sharing app was a success. However, it continued to be just that… a photo sharing app.

For instance, there was not much people could do. Sure, users could upload their pictures and apply filters to then share them with their friends. Yet, there was something missing, there needed to be a change.

Incredibly, in the first quarter of 2012 Instagram founders received an offer from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who asked them to sell the app. The deal was made and the app was sold by 1 billion dollars.

At first, people thought Zuckerberg was crazy for spending that much money in an app. But, guess what? Instagram is now worth over 100 billion dollars.

facebook acquired Instagram

Instagram in 2013

Facebook needed to make a profit from its recent acquisition. After all, buying Instagram was only an investment. So, in 2013 the giant among all the social platforms launched a new Instagram feature in which brands could pay for sponsored posts.

It was also during that year that Instagram announced there was going to be an update to allow users to upload bigger photos.

As for video content, Instagram worked in an improvement that would let users upload 15-second videos. This was seen as an attempt to compete with the back then so popular app Vine.

Then, in December 2013, Instagram Direct was launched. A new feature that let users interact through private messaging.

Lastly, during the Nokia World event held in Abu Dhabi, it was confirmed the official Instagram app was going to be released for Windows Phone

Instagram for nokia phones

Instagram in 2014

In 2014, Instagram reduced its size by half allowing low-end Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Young to support it.

In addition, Instagram implemented the now so popular video ads.

It was clear the photo-sharing app was not going to stop growing, so it was time to start creating stand-alone Instagram apps.

One of the most popular ones during that time was Bolt. A messaging app that allowed users to click on a friend’s profile photo and then to send an image that would disappear after being seen.

Instagram bolt 2014

Instagram in 2015

Being that Instagram had become a major social platform, even more apps started to being created.

In May 2015, Instagram Hyperlapse was launched, an app designed to allow users to record videos for over an hour and then turn them into fast time-lapse footage. In addition, Instagram Hyperlapse also helped users to stabilize their videos.

Later, in October of that same year, Instagram Boomerang was launched, an app thought to allow users to combine photos into one second short videos that played back and forth in a loop.

In August Instagram added support for widescreen videos and in September a new update was released. This time users were allowed to share locations, hashtag pages, and much more.

Finally, it was also during that year that Instagram announced advertisers they would be able to buy carousel ads. A way for brands to upload up to five images that users could swipe through while having additional options. Redirecting to the brand’s website is an example.

Instagram carousel feature

Instagram in 2016

In 2016, Instagram added an option for users to switch to a Business profile. With it, a world of new possibilities arrived.

Now it was possible to check on Instagram analytics and see how the content posted by brands was doing. People loved this feature so much that only a few months after its arrival, there were already 200 thousand advertisers.

During this year, Instagram also made an important update in which users were allowed to send private messages from the app and make them disappear after being seen.  It was no longer necessary to continue using the app Bolt.

In March, Instagram increased the 15-second video limit to 60 seconds, and three months later, Instagram Stories was launched.

At first, Instagram only allowed users to upload photos to their stories. They would of course disappear after 24 hours, but just months later the photo-sharing app got a new update that would let its users upload videos as well.

Finally, 2016 was also the year in which Instagram changed its logo.

Instagram in 2017

In 2017, Instagram made big changes. It was announced the 60 seconds video limit was over for good. In fact, Multi-video posts were introduced in February of that year, users could now upload up to 10 minutes of video to the platform.

Skippable ads were added and Instagram Stories received a new update. This time it was possible to add augmented reality stickers. Pretty similar to what Snapchat lets you do.

Now perhaps one of the most interesting updates from that year was the offline Instagram mode. A feature in which content previously loaded in the news feed is available without an Internet connection.

Users could comment, like, save media, and unfollow users. All of which would take effect once the user went back online

Instagram offline mode

Instagram in 2018

So far, Instagram has done an excellent job bringing us new updates and has provided us with great features. This year has not been the exception.

In April of this year, Instagram implemented a new feature called Instagram portrait mode. This feature blurs the background of a photo or video while keeping the subject in focus when selected.

Finally, a month before that, Instagram Shopping arrived. This feature was being tested during 2016 in the United States and after being proven to be effective, it was decided to be released for other countries to use early this year.

If you want to learn more about Instagram Shopping and all the things you can do with it, just click here.

Instagram shopping

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