In just about 10 years, Instagram has grown from an experimental application built by two Stanford graduates to become one of the largest social networks in the world, with more than 1 billion users. It’s seen rapid growth and many changes during that time, but most importantly, it’s changed how people capture and share their lives with the world. Here’s how it did that, and why it’s likely to continue doing so for years to come.
The Camera in Your Hand
The ubiquity of cell phones is impacting how photography is changing. It wasn’t long ago that owning a point-and-shoot or DSLR meant you were serious about photography. The barriers to entry were high and it cost quite a bit to get started, so it was easy to justify the investment because you knew you would be able to create amazing things. Now, there are more options than ever before and that changes everything. Anyone can create amazing photographs—provided they have access to one (or more) modern mobile device with a camera installed—which means we no longer need to own an expensive camera in order for our images (ourselves) to matter.
The Stories Behind the Scenes
In October 2010, Instagram was born in San Francisco, California. As of 2017, Instagram has over 700 million monthly active users and 500 million who upload photos to its network daily. While many might credit the rise of mobile photography as what catapulted this app into our lives, there are much deeper details that helped change how we consume images forever. It all started with Burbn, a location-based social networking platform that had similar features to Yelp and Foursquare. The founders noticed the most popular content on their site were pictures people would take on their phones, so they decided to make an application specifically for mobile photography. However, because of Twitter’s popularity at the time (2010), they wanted their app name to be short and easy to remember so it could be used as a hashtag on social media.
Luckily, these days you don’t need any expensive equipment to take amazing photos. If you have an iPhone or Android, then all you need is your imagination and some creativity! Take a look at some awesome Instagrammers who are using their phone to do cool things that would otherwise be impossible. Strawberry Fields on #EarthDay
This photograph was taken in Central Park by @josephinechua and depicts a woman posing in front of one of the most iconic symbols of peace – The John Lennon memorial. Josephine used her phone as her camera to snap this beautiful photo!
Marketing to Customers
The customer’s view: In this digital age, many people are in search of more authentic experiences. That’s where Instagram comes in. The app is not just for uploading quick snapshots to share with friends and family but is being used by professional photographers as well to promote their work. One way that Instagram has changed the world of photography is by democratizing it. It has allowed anyone to become a photographer and be able to take high-quality photographs from anywhere at any time. Furthermore, an individual can post photos on their account for free which makes it very affordable for small businesses or even larger corporations who want to use them for marketing purposes. And lastly, people are able to upload images in real-time which means they get instant feedback from friends and followers about what they should take pictures of next.
As I’ve shown, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to capture life through your lens and share those moments with the world. In fact, one of our biggest supporters is someone who lives at Disneyland! It doesn’t matter if you have a DSLR or your momma’s iPhone; all that matters is that you’re putting your heart into it. With Instagram’s simple features, every day can be an adventure in creativity. So grab your camera and make some magic!