What Made Instagram So Popular?


The quick rise of Instagram has left many in the business world shaking their head.

How can a company with only 12 employees build a business in such a short period of time and sell for 1 billion dollars?

The answer to this question is threefold, two of the reasons could be attributed to sheer luck.

We’ll leave that up to you to decide but this article will highlight the 4 areas that Instagram took advantage of to reach the success they have.

Simplicity Trumps All

The simplicity of Instagram positions the program in a way that makes it easy for almost anyone to use. The way in which you take photos or view the photos of your friends is also very easy to do. The photo editing portion of the app comes with only a handful of filters you can use to edit pictures. No matter what part of the app you try to dissect, the simplicity is always present making it an easy app to adopt and use by an average user.

Facebook Is Great – Now What

Timing has a lot to do with the popularity of the Instagram app. There are two main leaders in the social media space being Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is considered good for connecting with people you know from your past while Twitter is considered good to connect with people you want to know. There can be an argument made that Instagram fits right in between the 2 providing a way to effectively keep in touch with people you know and communicate with daily.

It’s All About Mobile

The explosive growth of mobile has also proven to be a key factor in the quick rise of Instagram. At around the time that Instagram was gaining in popularity, Facebook had yet to launch their official mobile app that provided the functionality that a user would expect while using Facebook on a mobile device. As a result, there was no “staple” app in use at that time that competed with Instagram and it’s easy way to communicate and share information with friends.

Keeps Getting Better

As a company, Instagram did not sit on their laurels and reap the rewards. Instead they have continued to enhance the application to provide more features inline with what their users are looking for in an easy communication tool. Many of their new features have been taken from the playbook of existing popular sites such a Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Hash tags, additional filters, instant tilt shift and more are additions were made to the app since its launch and rapid rise to success.

As with other social media profiles, your popularity and perceived influence is based on the amount of followers you have and the way in which you interact with the community in general.

Don’t be surprised when Instagram figures out a way to effectively monetize off of their community (in a good way next time we hope). We’ll begin to understand why Facebook paid 1 billion dollar for the company. There is already ramblings suggesting the purchase price was too low, go figure.

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3 Responses to “What Made Instagram So Popular?”

  1. Mike Huiwitz says:

    I don’t use Instagram often. But yeah, it has a certain appeal.

  2. Vianney says:

    Before Instagram was available in Android phones it was some sort of ‘exclusive’ social media site for Apple users. By opening it’s doors to Android users the population doubled. Plus, as you’ve mentioned. It’s a simple tool. Simplicity always works.

  3. Fatima says:

    I love Instagram for its lovely editing features and the freedom of sharing it via social network or email as per my convenience.

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