Happy 10th Birthday Instagram!

Photo by Glenn Han on Unsplash

Instagram’s become such a background fixture in our lives that it’s easy to take it for granted that it’s always been there.

It can be surprising to learn that it is, in fact, only 10 years old.

Instagram’s growth has exploded since those early, simpler days. The paltform now has over 1 billion active users and is constantly adding new features or expanding current ones in order to keep people active on it.

Here are some quick facts about this popular platform:

The first image on the app is a photograph of a stray dog sitting near a taco stand in Mexico

It was taken by the app’s co-creator Kevin Systrom

It started out as an iPhone-only app

selective focus photography of person using iphone x
Photo by Kerde Severin on Pexels.com

You could only post photos by taking images from the app itself. It was always in a square format and could be enhanced with one of a few pre-installed filters and other people could just comment or like it. There were no sharing options whatsoever nor any video, carousel, or any other of Instagram’s current bells and whistles.

Instagram kicks-off ‘Influencer Culture’

cheerful diverse female friends laughing at just taken selfie
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

It is estimated that influencer culture began in 2011 when professional lifestyle bloggers began using Instagram to raise their digital profile. This was followed by businesses jumping onto the bandwagon and advertising their products/services either through influencers or by using dedicated ads. It was expected that the industry would grow to USD 9.7B in 2020 before COVDI-19 impacted everything.

Instagram releases new features as part of its celebrations

Users can change their icon to look like the app’s original design or they can select a design from any of the other versions available.

It also introduced a private map and calendar of the Instagram Stories you’ve shared over the past three years, which can either be a fun, nostalgic trip down memory lane or an alarm bell over the fact that your stories don’t really disappear.

Another feature that the platform is rolling out is automatically hiding comments that have been reported or are similar to comments that were previously reported, along with a pop up notification warning people if they post potentially offensive comments.

2020 is definitely shaping up to be Instagram’s year, despite the pandemic, and it’ll be interesting to see what else it has up its sleeve for the next two and a half months.