Since its birth in October 2010, Instagram has come a long way. Since its inception, it’s grown to over 300 million users and that number is climbing every month. Since its inception in October 2010, Instragram has seen explosive growth, currently boasting 300 million users and growing every month.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a mobile app that allows users to upload photos and videos. A unique feature behind this social network platform is that it lets you customize your images with filters. These filters allow users to transform an amateur or mediocre mobile photo into an artistic and professional-looking image.
The goal behind this app is for Instagram users to post in real-time, so experiences can be shared as they happen. Instagram makes it easier for users to instantly share a picture on several sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and Foursquare. While Instagram is accessible on the web, you can only view, comment and like; uploading photos must be done through the mobile app, making it a truly mobile platform.
The Successful Marketing Stragetgy
Instagram’s popularity can be partly attributed to being backed by Facebook, though important steps the company has taken also play a huge role.
In May of 2013, Instagram started allowing photo tagging and “Photos of You,” a new tab on a user’s profile with a collection of every picture he or she is tagged in. Photo tagging also extended to brands, a business-friendly move that can lead to increased sales. Continuing on its path to becoming more social, Instagram made it easier to share posts by adding links to embed photos and videos in July 2013. With this new function, people can show Instagram content by simply copying and pasting a link and passing it on. This was a smart move for Instagram allowing users to share content elsewhere and drive traffic back to Instagram.
In October 2013, Facebook began incorporating select paid ads within the app. Because users weren’t used to ads, the company decided to start with only a handful of appealing, high-quality photos and videos from select brands. Within a month, this approach proved successful as 5% of ads led to likes. By the end of 2013, Instagram also added a private chat service for followers to send private photos and videos to one another. Before this, the only means of communication was completely public. Now users can make contact with other users through the direct messaging button. All of these strategic updates were done with the goal of increasing user engagement and site traffic.
Where’s It Headed?
Instagram was listed in Time Magazine as one of the top 50 apps for Android in 2013. By early 2014, a report by Global Web Index found that Instagram was the fastest growing social network, increasing its active users by 23% in only 6 months. Also in 2014, Instagram passed Twitter with mobile users; the photo-sharing app boasted a whopping 35 million monthly mobile users, almost 5 million more than on Twitter mobile.
Instagram isn’t going anywhere. While only select brands are allowed to pay for advertising on the platform, any business can join and start building dedicated followers. As Instagram continues its current growth pattern, it makes sense for businesses to jump onboard.