In 2010, most people considered Instagram just a photo editing app, but since then it has blossomed into a huge and very popular social media site, reaching over 400 million users. Although Instagram doesn’t come close to as many active users as Facebook, it is still the second largest social media site to date (as shown in the infographic below). After just a few years, they already had more users than Twitter, who was once just below Facebook on the list. Over the past couple of years, Instagram has evolved from a photo sharing app to a messenger to live streaming videos.
Facebook may be the most popular social media site with almost 2 billion users but surveys revealed that most millennials actually prefer Instagram over Facebook. This is simply because people prefer visuals over text. Nowadays, people want the most amount of information and fast. Instagram makes it simple for people to quickly scroll through and see what others are doing. According to the Pew Research Center, almost half of the users check the Instagram app daily and 32% check it several times a day.
To become as big as they now are, Instagram has had to make several changes over the years. In 2010, it was very simply with very few filters
and limited users. 2012 is when they added locations and tags making it easier for users to explore and expand their profiles which was when Instagram really seemed to take off. Over the years they added more filters and tools to edit photos, the option to share videos and an explore page, where you can take a look at profiles that Instagram thinks you may be interested in.
It wasn’t until 2016 when Instagram really changed the game. They gave themselves a complete makeover. They said goodbye to the retro polaroid looking camera icon and completely changed their color scheme to a more vibrant and exciting color scheme. According to The Telegraph, “Instagram was inspired by all the ways the community has grown and changed, and they wanted to create something that reflects how vibrant and diverse storytelling on Instagram has become.”
Not only did they change the looks of the app but also the features of it. They added Instagram stories, where a person can post a short video, photo or a Boomerang. These photos are then uploaded for anyone to see, and stay up for 24 hours. The difference between that and a regular
photo is that you do not receive likes, you can draw or type text on it and you can also track who views them.
Lastly, Instagram jumped on the “live stream” bandwagon where a person can start a stream of what they are doing in that exact moment for all of their followers to see. While streaming, you can see who is viewing at the specific time. People can also comment, making it easy to answer questions they might have.