Instagram – History, Brand Value, and Brand Strategies 

Newspapers are a thing of the past now. Every morning when people wake up, they see the notifications on their phones first! Well, the one that has the number one spot among the notifications is the Instagram app.

The app’s popularity is immense and constantly growing without any bounds whatsoever. The journey from being found to being the number one photo-sharing social media app has been exciting. Let’s delve deeper and examine the brand in detail! 

Instagram History

Instagram came into being in the year 2010. It was developed primarily by Kevin Systrom, a computer engineer, and Mike Krieger, a software engineer. However, the history is pretty much more layered than just this. Here is where it all began- 

Burbn

Systrom wasn’t formally educated at coding, and it is his midnight practice and sheer enthusiasm for the subject that he learned it. The first step toward Instagram was an HTML 5 prototype named Burbn. The sole inspiration for the name of this prototype was the love Systrom had for bourbon whiskey! This platform was meant for users to check in, share their plans and post images. 

In 2010, Systrom attended a hunch part of a startup where he discussed his Burbn idea with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. They instantly took a liking to the idea and decided to meet over a coffee.

That was it; Systrom had earned himself $500,000 through seed funding from these two people mentioned above. He quit his job and started working dedicatedly towards the idea of Instagram. This was when Mike Kreiger joined the team! 

Photo sharing 

The duo reconsidered Burbn and concluded that they would focus primarily on mobile photography. They reduced other aspects of the Burbn and brought it just to photo sharing and likes. Later they enhanced its UI/UX and gave it to some of their friends for beta testing. 

The iOS app 

Instagram’s iOS app was launched on 6th October 2010, gaining 25,000 downloads in just a day to become the trending app on the apple app store. 

Facebook Acquisition 

There were around 27 million users on Instagram by March 2012. In April 2012, it landed on the android platform and raked a huge 1 million downloads in just one day. Systrom and Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg offered $1 billion in cash and stock to own the company. The deal was finalized. However, it was stated that the app would remain independently managed even after the acquisition. 

Instagram Brand Value 

When Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, the app had around 30 million users. As of now, the app has no less than 800 million users, and it is on its way to being the top social media platform. 

Estimated worth 

Well, when we compare it with fellow social media platforms, the result is as follows – 

  • 5 times the worth of Snapchat 
  • 6 times the worth of Twitter 

Facebook acquired the platform for $1 billion, and now the estimated value of the platform is around $100 billion. Hence a 100x growth for the money that Zuckerberg used to purchase the app. The market cap of Facebook is around $523 million, which is 27x of Snapchat and as much as 33x of Twitter. You can just imagine the pace at which the app is spinning its value on a daily basis! 

With a $102 million value, Instagram is worth more than some of the biggest American companies, such as Nike, American Express, Netflix, and Goldman Sachs.  

Unknown brand value fact!

Instagram is the second most engaged social media platform daily, only after Facebook. It is estimated that 60% of its users log in daily to check their feed, search for trends, and closely follow their favorite celebrities or influencers on the platform.  

Instagram Brand strategies 

While the platform was imminently popular due to its out-of-the-box approach of dealing with images only, several amazing strategies and updates added to its popularity. Let’s discuss some of them here- 

#Hashtag trend 

Keywords are the basis of the search for every other person in the digital space. With the Instagram # hashtag idea coming, searching for a popular trend became easier than ever before. People on the platform could simply type in any trend with # and get similar results.

The idea of # had become so popular that even Facebook started using it. Though this was first used on Twitter, Instagram gave this a major boost, and it worked in their favor. 

Stories update

Apart from sharing just images, the story update brought the opportunity for people to share their moments too. This increased the user base significantly, and people used to live and upload the moment simultaneously! The user engagement increased by numerous degrees, so the platform’s popularity further jumped.

The ability of people to tag each other in the story also enabled people to put up group stories on Instagram. Such major brand strategies accelerated the pace of the boom of the Instagram platform and added more users to its kitty daily. 

Stickers and filters 

This is probably why the platform has been consistently popular over the years. It has some of the most amazing filters, which truly make the images look a lot more natural and immersive. While similar platforms like Snapchat also brought stickers and went viral due to this, they could not sustain the popularity as they did not strategize it well enough.

Note- Instagram is getting rich with plenty of influencers these days. You can set up your account, and once it gets popular, you can get paid by brands to promote them on your popular profile! 

Summing up, you might be on Instagram too, but now you know more about the platform than you did 10 minutes back. The platform has an immense future for those who wish to make a marketing career on it.

Do not treat it as a regular social media platform. Use it to its potential to grow yourself into a significant personality on the platform. 

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