Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, 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 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras. Users can also apply digital filters to their images. The maximum duration for Instagram videos is 15 seconds.
- 400 Million Monthly Active Users
- 75 Million daily Instagram Users
- 20% of all Internet Users use Instagram
- 77.6 Million U.S. Users
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 and over 300 million as of December 2014.
The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock.
Many celebrities have profiles on Instagram, sharing photos and videos of their personal and professional lives with fans. Some celebrities deleted their accounts in response to Instagram’s proposed change to its Terms of Service, which would have allowed the photo-sharing app to sell images to advertisers without compensation to users.
Weekend Hashtag Project
The “Weekend Hashtag Project” is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team Followers receive the weekend’s project every Friday, and each project encourages participants to post creative photographs according to the designated theme each weekend.
Throwback Thursday is a widely used trend on Instagram where users post pictures from the past with the hashtag #TBT. This trend usually includes pictures of users’ early childhood, past special occasions, or monumental events. This popular trend started in 2011 shortly after Instagram introduced the capabilities of hashtags on pictures. However, according to Google trends throwback, Thursday’s popularity didn’t spike until February 2012. This trend has reached popularity through celebrities such as Kim Kardashian andMolly Sims.
Selfie, a self-portrait photograph typically taken with a cell phone or digital camera, has become a trending topic on Instagram becoming the “word of the year” as announced by Oxford English Dictionary in November 2013. Selfies attract a wide range of viewers as seen by the second most-liked picture on Instagram from Justin Bieber’s Instagram account. Bieber’s selfie with Selena Gomez acquired 1.82 million likes. This trend has sparked interest within the music industry as well with the debut of the song “Selfie” by The Chainsmokers in January 2014.
In 2012, Instagram created web profiles which allow users to use their Instagram account as 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.
In December 2013, Instagram added a feature named Instagram Direct that allows users to send photos only to a specific user or group of users, rather than having it be viewable by all. This was viewed as a response to the popularity of services like Snapchat.