Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 16:9 aspect ratio now typically used by mobile device cameras. Users are also able to record and share short videos lasting for up to 15 seconds.
Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of April 2012. Instagram is distributed through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Support was originally available for only the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; in April 2012, support was added for Android camera phones. The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012,
By December 2010, Instagram had 1 million registered users. In June 2011 Instagram announced it had 5 million users and it passed 10 million in September of the same year. In April 2012, it was announced that over 30 million accounts were set up on Instagram.
Instagram announced that 100 million photographs had been uploaded to its service as of July 2011. This total reached 150 million in August 2011. By May 2012, 58 photographs were being uploaded and a new user was being gained each second. The total number of photographs uploaded had exceeded one billion.
On February 27, 2013, Instagram announced 100 million active users, only two-and-a-half years after the launch of the app. As of September 9, 2013, the company has announced a total of more than 150 million monthly active users. Instagram was listed among Time's 50 Best Android Applications for 2013.
Features & Tools
Users can upload photographs and short videos, connect their Instagram account to other social networking sites (which will enable the option to share uploaded photos to those sites), and follow other users' feeds. As of June 2013, users can connect their Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.
In 2012, Instagram created web profiles which allow users to use their Instagram account like a social media site. This gave users a web profile featuring a selection of recently shared photographs, biographical information, and other personal details. The web feed is a simpler version of the phone app, mimicking the look and feel users are already accustomed to.
Facebook Inc. (FB), operator of the world’s most popular social network, will sell advertising on its Instagram photo service, the first effort to make money from the company’s largest acquisition on record.
Promotions will start to appear on the mobile application, which lets users share images from smartphones, in late 2013. Instagram will deliver a “small number” of pictures and videos from a handful of companies that users aren’t necessarily following.
Facebook is seeking new ways to drive revenue from mobile devices as users increasingly access digital services from wireless devices. While mobile made up 41% of ad revenue in the second quarter, up from 30 percent in the previous period, Facebook remains a distant No. 2 in a market led by Google Inc. (GOOG), according to researcher EMarketer Inc.