Instagram

Instagram

Introduction

Meta Platforms is the owner of the American social networking site Instagram which allows users to share photos and videos. Users are able to submit media files that can be geotagged, altered with filters, and arranged with hashtags. Public or pre-approved followers can view posts. Users can follow other users to add their stuff to a personal feed, view trending content, like images, and browse other users’ content by tags and places. An image-focused social networking service run by Meta that can be accessed online, on Windows 10, iOS, and Android devices. Users can snap pictures, use the tools and built-in filters to modify them, and then post the edited images to Facebook and other social media sites. It is compatible with twenty-five languages, including Japanese, Korean, English, Spanish, and French.
Instagram first set itself apart by limiting content framing to a squar (1:1) aspect ratio of 640 pixels, which matched the iPhone’s display width at the time. This limitation was loosened in 2015 when the pixel count was increased to 1080. Additionally, it added messaging capabilities, the capacity to combine several photos or videos into a single post, and a Stories feature that let users upload content to a chronological feed that was visible to other users for a full day. The Stories feature was modeled after Snapchat, the company’s primary rival. By January 2019, 500 million individuals were using Stories every day.
Instagram quickly acquired popularity after being introduced for iOS in October 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. In just two months, one million users had registered, ten million in a year, and one billion by June 2018. Facebook Inc. purchased the service in April 2012 for about US$1 billion in stock and cash. The Fire OS app debuted in June 2014, the Android version in April 2012, a feature-limited desktop interface in November 2012, and an app for Windows 10 in October 2016. More than 40 billion images had been uploaded as of October 2015. Instagram is frequently praised for its popularity and impact, but it has also drawn criticism for its impact on youth mental health, changes to its policies and interface, purported censorship, and illicit activity.

Instagram

Instagram

Instagram is a social network service and online photo and video sharing platform. Cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released the app in 2010, and Meta Platforms, Inc., Facebook’s parent company, currently owns it. In 2022, Instagram, one of the largest social media networks globally, attained more than two billion monthly active members. Menlo Park, California is home to the company’s headquarters.

Instagram

History

Burbn, a mobile check-in software developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, was the inspiration behind Instagram’s early development in San Francisco. While working on Burbn, Systrom closed a seed investment round with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz on March 5, 2010, for a total of $500,000 (equivalent to $658,300 in 2022).They refocused their app on photo-sharing, which had grown to be a popular feature among its users, after realizing it was too similar to Foursquare. Instagram—a combination of “instant camera” and “telegram”—was the new name given to it.
Kevin Systrom, a Stanford graduate and former Google employee, founded Instagram. His first invention, Burbn, got its name from his passion for bourbon and whiskey. Burbn, which was modeled after Foursquare and other location-based social media sites, let users share photographs along with check-ins, something that wasn’t common practice on other social media platforms at the time. After obtaining venture capital for Burbn, Systrom hired Mike Krieger, a fellow Stanford alumnus who had experience with the social media site Meebo. They called it Instagram after reworking the idea to emphasize photos shot on mobile devices. With their prototype, Systrom and Krieger embraced minimalism and focused mostly on photographs (with the ability to apply filters), comments, and “liking” features.Additionally, the pair chose to forgo an iOS app in favor of a Web version in order to take advantage of the iPhone 4’s significantly enhanced photography capabilities. In a few months, they completed the app, and in July 2010, they released the first images on the platform. October 6, 2010 was the public launch of Instagram in the Apple App Store, which saw 25,000 users sign up in its first day. It reached one million users in less than three months, which is an incredible accomplishment.
Instagram attracted the curiosity of several investors and possible purchasers as its popularity expanded quickly. Eighteen months after its debut, in April 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in shares and cash. Approximately one month preceded Facebook’s IPO, the acquisition took place.

Instagram

Synopsis and Attributes

Instagram offers a rather simple service. Posts with pictures and/or short videos are its main focus. These posts are part of the user’s profile on Instagram, and they can be seen by followers only or by the public. Posting can be done via either the user’s permanent feed or their “Stories,” a unique section where content is stored for 24 hours before being removed (unless archived). Going “live” means that video can be sent straight from a camera to the platform.
Through private messages, also referred to as direct messages [DM], users can communicate with one another and send vanishing or permanent images and videos (think of it like Snapchat). Users have the ability to “follow” one another, and the accounts that a user follows are combined into a single feed. Users of the platform can also watch a random mixture of popular posts and browse by hashtag or topic.
Instagram allows users to shoot and edit photos and videos within the app. These edits can be made with text, gifs, icons, and filters that add different lighting effects, distortions, or other elements like hats or cat ears to newly taken or previously edited images. In order for images to fit the width of the iPhone, they had to be square, measuring 640 by 640 pixels at first. However, 1080 pixels was added to the size constraints in 2015.
Posts to feeds may have a user-written caption, geotagged information, and/or tags pointing to other user accounts. Hashtags are commonly used in captions to help other users find and search through postings. The site also lets users “like” posts by clicking the heart icon, and it lets them submit text comments to feed posts. Users can respond to Stories by private messaging or with emoji-based responses.
Like its sibling firm Facebook, the service is free to use and mostly depends on advertising for revenue. It produced versions for Android (2012), Web (2012), Fire OS (2014), and Windows 10 (2016) after initially being exclusive to Apple’s iOS platform.

Instagram

Features and tools for editing

Instagram users can apply a variety of digital filters, such as ones that give their photos a faded or vintage appearance, to their images. Lux is an additional editing option that brightens shadows, darkens highlights, and boosts contrast. Users can also alter brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, structure, straightness, and tint with the photo-tuning tools. Images can also have a manual tilt shift and vignette effect applied to them.
Instagram introduced a feature in 2017 that lets users publish many images or videos in a carousel format at once.
Instagram debuted a Stories feature in 2016 that lets users share experiences from their day that vanish after 24 hours, drawing inspiration from the well-known Snapchat app. Instagram Stories allows users to immediately add text, drawings, emojis, links, and geotags to photos and videos, as well as augmented reality-based face filters and stickers. Instagram Stories surpassed its largest competitor, Snapchat, in terms of active users in April 2017, with 200 million users.
There are numerous add-on apps for Instagram as well. These apps are Layout, which makes multi-image image collages, Boomerang, which makes personalized GIFs, and Hyperlapse, which makes time-lapse videos. These applications can be accessed straight from the Instagram app once they are installed.

Instagram

How to use Instagram and set it up

The Instagram app may be downloaded via Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and other iOS devices.
After installation, users can choose to sign up for free by entering their email address, which requires setting up a username and password, or by logging in using their Facebook account. The program allows new users to search via their Facebook friends and contact list to locate persons to follow on Instagram.
Instagram users can view photographs from accounts they follow in a format like to Facebook’s newsfeed from the Home page, which is the first screen to show when the app is started. Instagram Stories, which are circular profile photographs shared by users you follow, appear at the top of your home feed. Instagram Direct can be accessed by users in the upper right corner of their home feed.
Users can look for user accounts to follow or discover user photographs by using hashtags or geotags on the Explore page of the Instagram app. In addition to trending hashtags and well-liked posts, the Explore tab offers user-curated material and recommendations based on their behavior and the accounts they follow. The Activity tab shows the user’s recent interactions with posts, including likes and comments, as well as recent activity from users they are following.
The user’s photo and video posts are consolidated under the Profile tab, along with a brief bio. Click the Camera tab to upload a photo or video. You can then select an existing photo or video to submit, or you may take one from within the app.

Impact and Critiques

Instagram’s popularity and features attracted a lot of advertisers, which helped usher in the age of the “influencer”—people with sizable social media followings who use their platform to promote certain goods and services. Influencers are frequently approached by marketers, who may offer them cash rewards and free merchandise in exchange for informational articles, product evaluations, or name-dropping in videos or posts.
Instagram has been criticized for problems that affect social media platforms, such as improper content, misinformation and disinformation, and inadequate moderation, despite being applauded for its quick ascent and immense popularity. Research has also indicated that it may have a negative impact on the mental health of teenagers, particularly on young girls’ self-esteem.

Instagram

The Final Word

Despite the fact that Instagram’s user base has grown since Meta (previously Facebook) acquired the company, the program has undergone very few changes, maintaining its primary functionality of allowing users to share photos and videos and maintaining a straightforward and intuitive user experience. The business seems to have been a wise investment for Meta, even with the hefty acquisition cost.
The business research firm eMarketer projected in 2019 that by 2021, there will be 117.2 million users on Instagram.
Instagram was the second most downloaded free app on the Apple App Store in 2018—only the free mobile app for YouTube ranked higher.
More over a billion people utilized Instagram each month by 2020.

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