Instagram is a social media platform unlike any other. The photo based app has been a success in generating users from its first initial start. Within the first two month’s of the app’s initial launch, there were already two million users with accounts for the application. First available only to Apple phone users, the app was soon made available to Android users, and from there the Instagram’s popularity continued to grow.
The app was first founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October of 2010 and was then purchased by Facebook in April of 2012. By the end of 2011, Instagram had over 10 million users on their platform. This growth continued as the app developed new changes and features to best fit their users’ lifestyle.
Most recently Instagram has offered their story feature where users and journalists can post live content to be viewed by their followers. Popular brands including Free People and Urban Outfitters use these stories as a way to advertise new clothing items or give viewers a look into their different stores around the country. Magazine publications also use this feature as a way to highlight upcoming stories and articles. Many PR firms use this feature in an effort to advertise important events and changes for their clients. For instance, during my time as an intern at a public relations firm, we were constantly posting content from restaurant events onto our firm’s Instagram story so users would be able to engage with the event even without being there. This also helps to raise awareness about brands that many might not have known of before.
Instagram now allows companies to generate ads to be used within their application. These ads are posted on a user’s timeline and appear to look like a picture of one of their followers. Many times it is difficult to tell a user’s post from an ad because they are specifically designed to blend in with the layout of Instagram. This has been a very useful technique for companies in getting their name out into the social media sphere. Instagram also offers a buy it now feature where users can be transported to the company’s website to buy a product with one click of a button. This reason alone is why many companies choose to advertise through Instagram.
News outlets are also able to post pictures and videos about some of the most recent hard hitting news stories. Unlike Snapchat, these pictures and videos have a place where users are able to comment with reactions and voice their opinion about what is happening in the world’s news. Users from all over the country and the world are able to follow accounts as a way to keep up with what may be happening in a region not central to their current location. This has been seen as a useful tool in connecting people. Because of these reasons, Instagram has been considered one of the most popular social media platforms in today’s society and will remain useful to journalists in the dissemination of news.
Source for info and statistics: http://wersm.com/the-complete-history-of-instagram/
Learn more about the history of Instagram here.