Did you know that the first photo posted to Instagram was an image of founder Kevin Systrom’s dog. From this modest start, Instagram quickly took off as one of the most popular applications for iPhone and Android users. Within two months of its initial launch, the photo-sharing application became a widely popular social media network with one million users. Fast forward seven years, and Instagram has over 150 million daily active users. From a single photo of a happy pup to 129,285,048 photos using the hashtag “dog,” the social media staple has obviously come a long way.
Throughout its seven years of success, Instagram has proven to be highly adaptable and dynamic. For example, the original post format was just a square photo, no other options. Now users can post landscape or portrait rectangular photos, GIFs, videos and collages. Today, Instagram has enhanced the basic photo posting experience; with Layout and Boomerang a user can create collages and GIFs to upload as an Instagram post. And with the addition of Instagram stories and live stories, Instagrammers can give followers an inside look into everything from a store opening, a photo-shoot or even sipping a cup of coffee.
These updates have been enormously important for users because of the new possibilities these formats provide. Video format, for example, allow a bakery to post a mesmerizing clip of a cookie being intricately frosted, rather than just a photo of the finished project. Rectangular photos allow a photographer to upload a landscape picture in the shape they meant for it to be seen in. The options for users are numerous and allow content to be much more diverse and creative.
Instagram sets an industry standard to social media applications. It gives users countless ways to be artistic and companies a platform to engage followers. Brands, influencers and everyday users interact with each other through likes, comments and tags, giving the application endless uses for everyone. These options allow Instagram to compete with other social media giants like Facebook and Snapchat as they grow and adapt as well.