What is Instagram?

by Winterfate

You may have heard of Instagram. You may even use Instagram. However, do you know exactly what Instagram is? This is the question that this article will answer.

Instagram is the name of a free photo sharing service that millions of people are currently using. It allows you to take a picture, apply a digital filter to it, and subsequently post it on one of several social networks, such as Facebook. During the course of this article, I will talk about the history behind this trending application. See why Facebook's owner, Mark Zuckerberg, was willing to pay 1 billion USD to acquire Instagram.

The Development of Instagram

Instagram is the brainchild of two Stanford University graduates called Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and it came about as a desire of the two to focus their multi-featured HTML5 check-in project Burbn on mobile photography. The product first launched in Apple's App Store on October 6, 2010. In the time between then and now, here are some of the things Instagram has added to its photo sharing app:

  • Hashtags: Used all around the Internet, these allow people to focus their search on a certain word or words of choice. For example, I could tag a hot dog photo with the hashtag hot dog. Afterwards, people interesting in seeing the most succulent hot dog ever could run a search for all photos related to hot dogs.
  • A variety of photographic filters: Do you want your photo to look grey-scale? Or perhaps you would prefer a sepia filter? Instagram has a wide variety of filters to make your photo look just the way you want it to like, within reason obviously.
  • Borders: A seemingly minor thing, but you can add borders to your photos using Instagram. Go check if you can put Greek pillars around your favorite pictures.

On April 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram and its thirteen employees for the modest sum of one billion USD. If you've ever thought of making your very own mobile app, take the plunge and maybe I'll be writing about your app some day!

What Makes Instagram So Special?

Well, for starters, it represents the very best of this Information Age we currently live in. People are willing to pay top dollar to acquire the rights to the hottest, upcoming, software and applications. Other people are just happy to find a good application to fill a need in their personal lives. In this case, anyone who has ever wanted a professional-looking photo taken with a mobile phone can now do so with the aid of Instagram's photographic filters.

The creators of Instagram marked three reasons for wanting to create the popular photo sharing application. They are (and I quote from Instagram's home page):

  1. Mobile photos always come out looking mediocre. Our awesome looking filters transform your photos into professional-looking snapshots.
  2. Sharing on multiple platforms is a pain - we help you take a picture once, then share it (instantly) on multiple services.
  3. Most uploading experiences are clumsy and take forever - we've optimized the experience to be fast and efficient.

As if that weren't awesome enough, Instagram is free. It costs you zero dollars and zero cents to get a copy of your own to start taking easy pictures with your mobile phone of choice. In a world driven more and more by consumerism, free is always good.

Also, while Instagram is easy to use, on the off-chance that you're not sure how to do something, there are many offline and online resources available to help on your way to becoming an Instagram great.


In conclusion, Instagram has established itself as one of the hard hitters in the photo sharing portion of the technology industry. It represents a free choice for those people who wish to share photos with their loved ones and also represents a trend in information and technology that you would be wise to keep an eye on, if only to stay informed.

Feel free to post feedback below in the comments section of this article! I'll be sure to read it and respond to it as soon as humanly possible.

Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)


Do you use Instagram?

Updated: 08/01/2012, Winterfate
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Share your Instagram experiences here!

blackspanielgallery on 07/31/2015

Thanks. I was not certain how Instagram worked.

SharileeShares on 02/19/2013

I am a big fan of Instagram now, after obtaining my first SmartPhone. I love the instant thrill of people seeing my photos and commenting. And showing the appreciation to their pics in return.

katiem2 on 10/04/2012

I love instagram. My daughters are huge fans of it. They say facebook is so old news, so I guess it's good facebook bought it! :)K

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