Instagram is now ten years old. Let’s peep into its journey of how it became one of the most popular and loved social media platforms.

Today is the arrival of a new decade for Instagram, as the popular and most loved photo-sharing app is now ten years old. Can you imagine the app has successfully completed its ten years of a lifetime on social media? Yes! It has. To mark the occasion, the app has added a couple of new, celebratory features and updates to woo its users.

Having amassed more than a billion users worldwide, the app has radically changed itself in a period of ten years.

Instagram evolution over time

Instagram was launched on October 6, 2010, by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Before it first hit the App Store, Instagram was an iPhone only app. The user could take photos (and only take photos, the app could not load existing images from the phone’s gallery) within a square frame. However, the filter facility was available then as well. Also, other users could comment or like the posted images. That was it with Instagram, a decade ago.

The platform has grown rapidly and has been at the forefront of an increasingly visual social media landscape. In 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram and since then, the app is one of the most profitable jewels in the Facebook crown.

Instagram has integrated new features over time, and still the app experiments with its features every now and then. This adding of new features to the app is an elementary answer to why people love it so much. But it is important to note that all these features Instagram has amalgamated over time in itself, has not been invented by it.

Instagram Stories, with more than a billion users daily, was borrowed from Snapchat in 2016. The feature allowed users to post 10-second content bites which disappear after 24 hours. Similarly, IGTV is Instagram’s answer to YouTube’s longer-form video. Most recently, with the ban of TikTok, Instagram added a new feature called “Reels”. This new feature has gained immense popularity among users.

Celebrating its 10th birthday with new features

Photo-sharing app Instagram celebrated its tenth birthday with new features, such as one that helps users find old stories they’ve posted, and another that aims to reduce abuse. The two new anti-bullying features tie into National Bullying Prevention Month. Instagram is also displaying new warnings for users who repeatedly post comments flagged as abusive, encouraging them to think twice before hitting send.

The main celebratory element is its Stories Map. The new private Stories Map and calendar offers users a retrospective of the Stories and photos they’ve shared over the last three years so that they can look back at their favourite moments and re-share them if they desire to. It also announced new anti-bullying features that aim to automatically hide potentially abusive comments. 

Lastly, to celebrate 10 years, Instagram is allowing users to switch up the app’s icon on their home screen. Users can choose between a range of new and classic icons in shades of orange, yellow, green, purple, black, white, and more.

Professionalisation of the influencer industry

Instagram is largely responsible for the rapid professionalisation of the influencer industry. The app has turned itself into a brimming marketplace for professional lifestyle influencers. The use of images as a primary mode of communication, as opposed to the text-based modes of the blogging era, facilitated an explosion of aspiring influencers.

Instagram is now being considered as the best place for promoting brands and products. Because of its high engagement rates, people prefer the app to enhance their influencing over a large chunk of users present on the platform. This social media platform helps many people to build their profession and even helped them make a decent amount of money.

The introduction of video on Instagram has given everyday users, professional content creators, and brands an opportunity to further connect and engage with their followers.

Instagram impact on food culture

It’s now common that we habitually take photos of our food before eating it, arranging a scrumptious spread and holding your phone high above the table to get that perfect overhead shot. Food has always been a popular interest area for the platform.

In the COVID era, it is noticed that there has been a shift from aesthetic photos of food (though those are still popular) to the people eating and making the food and the stories behind them. The type of content we consume and create on Instagram has seen a drastic change in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Now everybody is at home, and everybody is cooking at home which has transformed Instagram into an alternate type of Food Network in everybody’s handheld device.

Instagram and its support for small businesses

Instagram not only allows people to post their beautiful pictures but also works towards the well-being of entrepreneurs, our communities, and the economy. The app also provides different tools to support small businesses. Using Instagram for small businesses is a powerful (and affordable) way to grow a company. It allows a company to reach new customers, stay connected with their existing ones, and even make sales right from the app, which makes it gram a perfect platform for marketing small businesses.

With the help of Instagram, one can successfully trap the audience. Instagram has been silently taking over the social scene in the past few years. With the growing number of active users and inherent beauty of the platform, more and more businesses have started to take advantage of the platform. The marketing power of Instagram has been utilised by many small businesses to gain more traffic to their websites and web pages.