The story of Instagram’s explosive rise is read as a fairy tale in Silicon Valley and the company is gaining tremendous momentum in months. The social media application that shares photos and videos takes just eight weeks to develop by software engineers and was launched on Apple’s mobile operating system in October 2010. Facebook (FB) acquired the company for $1 billion within two years. With cash and stock. But, like all good words, the process involved many twists and turns, failures and successes, conflicts and synergies, and coincidences.
Important Points To Note About Instagram
• Instagram is a social media application for sharing photos and videos published in 2010 by Kevin Systrom.
• The first Instagram prototype was a web app named Burbn, inspired by the love of fine whiskey and Bourbon’s Systrom.
• The Instagram app was released on October 6, 2010 and secured 25,000 users per day.
• From the beginning, the main focus of the app was especially on photos taken on mobile devices.
• Shortly before the 2012 Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Instagram, Facebook acquired the company for $ 1 billion in cash and stock.
Kevin Systrom, a 27-year-old graduate of Stanford University in 2009, worked for travel recommendation startup Nextstop. Systrom worked as an intern at Odeo, a company that later evolved into Twitter (TWTR), who previously worked for Google (GOOG)’s corporate development colleagues.
Systrom did not have a formal education for computer engineering, but learned to code at night. While working at NextStop, over the weekend he prototyped the final web app called Burbn. Burbn was inspired by his taste for advanced whiskey and bourbon. The Burbn app allowed users to check in, publish plans, and share photos. Location-based check-in applications were very popular at the time, but Burbn’s photo sharing feature was unique.
Instagram Venture Capital Funding
A decisive turning point came in March 2010 when Systrom attended the party of Hunch, a Silicon Valley-based startup. At the party, Systrom met Baseline Ventures and two venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz. After they showed a prototype of their application, they decided to meet up for a coffee to discuss it further. After the first meeting, Cystoromu decided to quit his job and focus on the babun. For the first time in two weeks, he raised $ 500,000 in seed funding from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz to further develop his entrepreneurial venture.
This seed fund allowed Systrom to start forming a team of people to support his venture. The first person to join was Mike Krieger, 25. A graduate of Stanford University, Krieger previously worked as an engineer and user experience designer for the social media platform Meebo. The two have known each other since Stanford’s student days. After switching to the photo sharing application and Krieger joined, the two decided to reassess Burbn and focus primarily on photos taken on mobile devices. We carefully researched the major apps in the photo category at the time. For Krieger and Systrom, the Hipstamatic app was so popular that it stood out because of its exciting features that can be applied to photos such as filters. However, it lacks the ability to share social media. Systrom and Krieger saw the possibility of building apps that connect social media platforms such as Hipstamatic’s Facebook.
They stepped back and removed Burbn with photos, comment posts, and “good” features. At that time, they combined the words instant and telegram to rename the app Instagram. They also began to focus on improving the photo sharing experience. Their intention for the application was that it was minimal and to minimize the user’s work. After tweaking the application for eight weeks, they delivered the application to a friend and conducted a beta test to evaluate its performance. After fixing some errors in the software, they got it running.
The IOS App Released
Instagram application was launched in October. I got 25,000 users on June 1st, 2010. On the first weekend, Instagram was downloaded 100,000 times, reaching 1 million users by mid-December. The timing of the app’s release was a coincidence, as the iPhone4 with an improved camera was released in June 2010, a few months ago.
Series A Funding For Instagram
After Instagram’s user base surged, more investors became interested in the company. In February 2011, Instagram raised $7 million in its Series A funding round. One of their investors is the company’s value at BenchmarkCapital was about $25 million. In addition to institutional investors, the company has attracted the attention of other conglomerates in the social media technology industry, such as Twitter and Facebook. By this new funding round offered Systrom and Krieger the opportunity to hire more people, but the founders decided to make the company very small and only have 12 employees.
Systrom has known Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey since the time as an intern at Odeo. The city showed great interest in the company, pursuing the idea of acquiring Instagram. Twitter officially offered about $ 500 million in shares, but Systrom declined.
Facebook Acquires Instagram
By March 2012, the app’s user base had grown to around 27 million. In April 2012, Instagram was released for Android phones and was downloaded more than a million times a day. The company at the time was close to getting new funding, worth $ 500 million. Cistron and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg became friends through an event in Stanford, and they communicated, including the rapid rise in Instagram’s popularity.
In April 2012, Facebook proposed buying Instagram for about $ 1 billion in cash and stock. An important clause is that the company is managed independently. Soon after, just before the IPO, Facebook went ahead and bought a $1 billion cash and stock company.
Instagram activated its limited-featured website interface in November 2012. In June 2014, the company introduced an application for Amazon Fire devices, and finally, in 2016, it created an application compatible with MicrosoftWindows tablets and computers.
Instagram has a variety of features, but it is common for individuals who have created a free account through the app’s interface to upload both photo and video media. I can do it. The user then edits the uploaded media using a filter with location information and hashtags (previously hashtags, which are primarily used on social media platforms to identify articles on a particular topic. It can be composed of coming words and phrases). Users can make their profile public or private. The difference is that using a public profile allows all other Instagram users to see your image / video, while using a personal profile allows users to see your posts. It means that you can approve it. Instagram users can view other users’ photos and videos by searching for hashtags and places. You can also manipulate photos or videos of other users by scrolling through an aggregate of trending content, clicking a button to’like’ a post or add a text description to the post. When a user “follows” another user, that means adding that person’s photos and videos to the feed.
The first version of the Instagram application only allows users to view media in square proportions (the aspect ratio is a proportional relationship between the image’s width and height). For the aspect ratio of the rectangle, the image has the same height and width. In other words, Instagram, users were only able to publish media that matched the 640 pixel width of the iPhone 4 at that time (2010). This feature was changed in 2015 to allow users to upload larger (up to 1080 pixels) media. Since the
Instagram was first released, the service also added messaging capabilities and the ability for users to include multiple images and videos in the same article. One of the most popular features of the app today is “Instagram Story”. This feature allows users to post photos and videos to separate content feeds within the app. These types of articles can be viewed by other users for 24 hours after the original article. According to Instagram, 500 million people used Instagram Stories every day in 2020.
Wrapping It Up
Since the acquisition of Facebook, user growth has continued to increase, but with relatively minor changes to the Instagram app, the focus is on a simple and intuitive user experience and the ability to share photos and videos. Despite the large amount of the acquisition, it seems that the company was making savvy investments on the side of Facebook. In 2019, market research firm eMarketer predicts that Instagram will reach 117.2 million users by the year 2021. In 2018, Instagram was the second free app downloaded from the Apple App Store (after the YouTube free mobile device app. 2019), with 1 billion people using Instagram every month.