Social media platforms have only been around since the late 1990s. Before there was MySpace, Facebook, or Instagram, there was “Six Degrees”.
Six Degrees is considered to be the first social media platform complete with profiles, friends’ lists, and school associations between alumni. Do you ever wonder “How old is Instagram?”
If you’re curious about how long Instagram has been around, the next few paragraphs will provide you with how it started, when it started, where it started, who started it, and other interesting and relevant facts about the platform.
How Old Is Instagram?
Once upon a time, Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom developed an app they named Burbn.
This was a prototype app for the concept of using a mobile web application to allow people to check in through a mobile application.
Systrom managed to convince some venture capitalists to meet with them to discuss their app at a party.
Within a couple of weeks, Systrom was able to raise $500,000 from these venture capitalists and proceeded to leave his engineering job.
The next step Systrom took was to find and build a team to help him with the app. This is when Mike Krieger joined him.
After doing some research and evaluation, the two men noticed that there were other more established apps similar to the one that they were creating.
That resulted in switching their focus to using images exclusively to communicated on the new app.
So, they proceeded to remove all the features from the original app except for uploading images/photos, liking, and commenting.
They renamed it “Instagram” to describe what the app’s purpose was. That purpose was to send instant telegrams via photos.
They launched Instagram on October 6, 2010 for iOS only, and it caught on almost instantly (irony?).
Instagram’s mobile app quickly became the number on photo app attracting 100,000 in only one week. Within a couple of months, they had one million users.
How old is Instagram? As of October 6, 2021, Instagram turned 11 years old.
What Photo Was the First to Get Uploaded to Instagram?
The first person to upload a photo to the Instagram app was Kevin Systrom himself. He did this in July 2010, around three months of its public launch.
What was the photo Systrom uploaded? It was a picture of a stray dog that Systrom encountered when he was in Mexico.
It didn’t take long for this idea to take off once October came around.
How Old Is Instagram for Android?
It wasn’t until March 2012 that Instagram was added to the Android market. It was downloaded on that same day over one million times.
It also happened around the time that the company was set to get its new round of funding of $500 million.
Coincidently, Systrom met Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder, at a Stanford University event. This is when these two started communicating as Instagram’s fame began to rise.
With a provision that Instagram would continue to be managed independently, Zuckerberg offered to purchase the company for $1 billion in April 2012.
It wasn’t long until Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in stock and cash as offered.
How old is Instagram since its acquisition by Facebook? In April 2022, it will be 10 years since the Facebook, now Meta, acquired Instagram.
How Old Is Instagram – Features Timeline
The Instagram app began its evolution before it was bought by Facebook\Meta.
Facebook added some features, and now Meta has added features and plans to continue to enhance the social media platform.
Here is the basic features addition timeline:
- September 2011, before its acquisition, the iOS app store added instant tilt-shift and live filters to its photo-sharing process
- May 2013, Instagram added the tagging and Photos of You features
- June 2013, video sharing was launched
- July 2013, the ability to add links and embed videos and photos
- November 2013, targeted sponsored advertising was added
- December 2013, users could send photos to specific people through the ‘Direct’ feature
- June 2014, users could edit images
- August 2014, advertising business tools were added
- June 2015, more advertising formats added
- September 2015, 30-second ads were allowed
- October 2015, the Boomerang feature was added
- February 2016, switching between multiple accounts was available
- February 2016, video view counters were added
- March 2016, the switch from chronological feed to algorithm-driven best posts first was put in place
- May 2016, Instagram got a facelift with a new design and layout
- May 2016, new business tools launched
- June 2016, the instant translation tool was added
- July 2016, the ability of users to filter comments and turn off comments
- August 2016, Instagram Stories was launched
- September 2016, Instagram eliminated the Photo Maps feature
- October 2016, the first desktop client is launched for Windows 10
- November 2016, Live videos that were available for one hour only, disappearing videos and photos for the Direct feature were all added
- May 2017, multiple photo uploads feature
- August 15, threaded comments added
- June 2018, Instagram launched IGTV as competition to YouTube
- May 2020, Guides feature added
- July through August 2020, Reels to compete with TikTok
These are only some of the most notable features added to or taken from the app over the years.
You can see that Instagram is a major social media player that has grown and evolved over its 11+ years.
It’s unknown if Systrom was planning to make any of the changes to the app that were made after its acquisition by Facebook, now Meta, but we are pretty sure he would have at least tried to stay in the game.
Currently, the app continues to grow with new user downloads daily.
In 2019, Instagram’s monthly users’ count came to 1 billion people. Today, there are over one billion users on the application.
With all the recent Meta changes, it remains to be seen how people will respond.
Meta took a hit last quarter of 2021, so it’s hard to say how that will affect the future of the social platform, including Instagram.
What does the future hold for social media?