Timeline of Instagram
This is a timeline of Instagram.
|Time period||Key developments at Instagram|
|2010–2012||Instagram launches on the iPhone and grows to 13 employees and to 30 million users (closing at $50 million at a $500 million valuation). It eventually gets acquired by Facebook in 2012.|
|2013–2016||Instagram introduces features such as videos, direct messaging, and advertising, and grows to over 400 million users. Instagram started insta-stories in August 2016.|
|Year||Month and date||Event type||Details|
|2009||October 21||Product||Kevin Systrom starts working on the project with the name Burbn.|
|2010||March 5||Funding||Systrom closes a US$500,000 seed funding round with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz while working on Burbn.|
|2010||May 19||Team||Mike Krieger joins the Burbn project|
|2010||October 6||Product||Instagram launches (from Systrom and Krieger) with the hope of facilitating communication through images. It nabs 100K users in one week.|
|2010||December 12||Growth||Instagram hits 1 million users.|
|2011||January||Product||Instagram adds hashtags to help users discover both photographs and each other. Instagram encourages users to make tags both specific and relevant, rather than tagging generic words like "photo", to make photographs stand out and to attract like-minded Instagram users.|
|2011||February 2||Funding||Instagram has raised US$7 million in Series A funding from a variety of investors, including Benchmark Capital, Jack Dorsey, Chris Sacca (through Capital fund), and Adam D'Angelo. The deal values Instagram at around $25 million.|
|2011||June||Growth||Instagram hits 5 million monthly active users.|
|2011||September||Growth||Instagram hits 10 million monthly active users.|
|2011||September||Product||Version 2.0 of Instagram goes live in the App Store (iOS) and included new and live filters, instant tilt–shift, high resolution photographs, optional borders, one-click rotation, and an updated icon.|
|2012||April 3||Product||Instagram is released for Android phones running the 2.2 Froyo version of the OS, and it is downloaded more than one million times in less than one day.|
|2012||April 9||Funding||Instagram raises US$50 million from venture capitalists for a share of the company; the process values Instagram at US$500 million.|
|2012||April 30||Growth||Instagram hits 50 million monthly active users.|
|2012||April||Acquisitions||Facebook acquires Instagram for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock.|
|2012||June||Competition||Vine (service), a short-form video sharing service, launches.|
|2012||December 17||Product||Instagram updates its Terms of Service, granting itself the right – starting on January 16, 2013 – to sell users' photos to third parties without notification or compensation.|
|2013||February||Growth||Instagram hits 100 million monthly active users.|
|2013||May||Product||Instagram introduces photo tagging and "Photos of You," a new tab on a user’s profile listing every picture he or she is tagged in.|
|2013||June 13||Product||Instagram launches video sharing.|
|2013||July||Product||Instagram makes it easier to share posts by adding links to embed photos and videos.|
|2013||September||Growth||Instagram hits 150 million monthly active users.|
|2013||October||Controversy||Instagram deletes the account of Canadian photographer Petra Collins after Collins posted a photo of herself in which pubic hair was visible beneath her bikini bottom. Collins claims the account deletion was unfounded because it did not break any of Instagram's terms and conditions.|
|2013||November||Controversy||Instagram acts in response to a 2013 investigation from the BBC regarding the role of Instagram in sales of illicit drugs. The BBC had discovered that users, mostly located in the US, were posting images of drugs they were selling and then completing transactions via instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp Messenger. Corresponding hashtags are blocked as part of the company's response.|
|2013||November||Product||Instagram introduces sponsored post advertising targeting US users.|
|2013||December||Team||Snapchat announces that it will poach Emily White, director of business operations of Instagram. Emily White will move to Snapchat in January.|
|2013||December 12||Product||Instagram adds Direct, a feature that allows users to send photos to specific people directly from the app. Instagram's primary intention with the Direct feature is to compete against messaging services, including Snapchat.|
|2014||March||Growth||Instagram hits 200 million monthly active users.|
|2014||June||Product||Instagram launches new series of editing tools – allowing users to minutely customize image characteristics like brightness, contrast, highlights, and shadows.|
|2014||August||Team||The company's Global Head of Business and Brand Development – a new position for Instagram – is announced. Facebook's former Regional Director James Quarles was assigned the role.|
|2014||August 21||Product||Instagram makes itself more advertising-friendly by introducing a suite of business tools aimed at brands which offer insights and analytics related to their use of the image-sharing network.|
|2014||December||Growth||Instagram hits 300 million monthly active users.|
|2015||January||Controversy||In a similar incident to Collins's, Instagram deletes Australian Photography and Fashion Agency Sticks and Stones Agency's Instagram account because of a photograph including pubic hair sticking out of bikini bottoms.|
|2015||June||Product||Instagram bolsters up its advertising capabilities, testing ad formats that prompt users to do things such as installing an app, signing up for an email newsletter, or link to a retailer’s site to purchase a product.|
|2015||September 9||Product||Instagram allows 30-second ads for all advertisers – twice the 15-second limit given for users.|
|2015||September||International||Instagram ads go global.|
|2015||September||Growth||Instagram hits 400 million monthly active users.|
|2015||October||Product||Instagram launches Boomerang, an app where the user shoots a one-second burst of five photos that is turned into a silent video that plays forwards and then reverses in a loop.|
|2015||November 17||Product||Instagram kills off support from feed-reading applications.|
|2016||February||Product||Instagram starts enabling users to easily switch between multiple accounts.|
|2016||March||Controversy||The Daily Star reports 'one million' explicit porn films found on Instagram. The videos were unearthed by tech blogger Jed Ismael, who says he's discovered over one million porn films on the site.|
|2016||March 15||Product||Instagram switches its feed from chronological to algorithmically-driven best posts first.|
|2016||May 11||Product||Instagram introduces a new look as well as an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new icon represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form.|
|2016||May||Product||Instagram announces that it will launch new business tools – including analytics that allow users to see audience demographics, post impressions, and reach.|
|2016||June||Growth||Instagram announces that it has over 500 million monthly active users.|
|2016||June||Product||Instagram announces instant translation feature.|
|2016||July||Product||Instagram announces that it will start allowing users to filter out comment streams – giving users the choice about which comments are acceptable or not for themselves. It also starts allowing users the opportunity to entirely turn off comments.|
|2016||August 2||Product||Instagram launches Instagram Stories. The product works like Snapchat Stories: users can post 24-hour ephemeral photo and video slideshows that disappear. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom openly admits that the feature is copied from Snapchat, based on the success of Snapchat stories. The feature is viewed as part of Instagram's goal of attracting users away from Snapchat.|
|2016||August||Product||Instagram brings in Image Zoom, allowing users to zoom into images.|
|2016||September||Product||Instagram removes the Photo Maps feature from its mobile apps, claiming that the feature was not widely used on the platform.|
|2016||October 13||Product||Instagram launches a desktop client for the first time on the Windows 10 platform, which can be downloaded via the Windows Store.|
|2016||November 21||Product||Instagram launches live video, which allows users to broadcast live on Instagram, for up to one hour. Live videos on Instagram are not preserved, and are removed from the service once a user is done broadcasting. Instagram also launches disappearing photos and videos for the Instagram Direct feature on the same day, and images and videos sent using this method disappear after a certain amount of time.|
|2016||December 15||Growth||Instagram announces that it has over 600 million monthly active users.|
|2017||February 22||Product||Instagram launches a feature allowing users to post multiple photos in one post, in a slideshow-like fashion.|
|2017||March 22||Growth||Instagram announces that it has over 1 million monthly active advertisers, compared to 500,000 last September and 200,000 a year ago.|
|2017||April 26||Growth||Instagram announces that it has over 700 million monthly active users.|
|2017||May 23||Product||Instagram launches Story Search for hashtags and locations.|
|2018||May 22||Product||Instagram announces addition of a couple of features, which includes the option to mute people from appearing in the user's feed without having to unfollow them, and the "You're All Caught Up" indicator, which shows users whether they have seen all of the photos and videos posted within the last 48 hours by followed people.|
|2018||June 20||Product||Instagram launches IGTV, a long-form video platform aimed at hosting vertical videos as long as 60 minutes, hoping to make the platform more suited to mobile use than YouTube.|
|2018||June 26||Product||Facebook announces a whole suite of new Instagram features, all arriving on iOS and Android. These include a new video chatting feature, its custom augmented reality filters designed by third parties like celebrities and influencers, and the new Explore tab redesign.|
|2018||June 28||Product||Instagram launches a feature that lets users add clips of songs to their stories, with thousands of songs offered directly in the app (including music by artists like Bruno Mars, Demi Lovato, and Maroon 5). Instagram says new songs would be added daily.|
|2018||June||Growth||Instagram reaches 1 billion monthly users.|
|2018||August 1||Product||Instagram introduces a new dashboard to tell users how long they’ve spent inside the app, along with tools for setting daily limits and temporarily muting users' push notifications. The feature, called “Your activity” on Instagram, is equivalent to “Your time on Facebook”, introduced at the same time, and is designed to address concerns that addictive feedback loops built into social apps have been detrimental to users’ well-being.|
|2018||September 17||Product||Instagram launches Shopping features across its app to let people discover and consider possible purchases before clicking through to check out on the merchant’s website, thus making it easier for users to purchase items featured by businesses and influencers. Users would be able to click links to purchase items from stories and from the explore tab.|
|2018||September 24||Team||Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger resign from their respective roles as CEO and CTO. Reports indicate that their departure might be due to growing tensions with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the site’s parent company, Facebook.|
|2018||October 1||Team||Facebook announces Adam Mosseri as new CEO of Instagram. Already member of the staff, Mosseri was Instagram's head of product since earlier 2018.|
|2018||November 19||Product||Instagram announces built machine learning-powered moderation tools that would help identify and remove fake likes, follows, and comments.|
|2018||November 30||Product||Instagram announces feature Close Friends, which lets users create a separate list of followers to grant special viewing permissions. When posting a Story, users would be able to differentiate between posting for everyone and posting to their group of Close Friends.|
|2018||December 10||Product||Instagram introduces a voice messaging feature to its Direct messages. The feature allows users to send each other audio messages up to one minute long in private and group chats.|
Numerical and visual data
The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar as of August 8, 2021.
The comparative chart below shows Google Trends data for Instagram (Social networking service) and competitors LinkedIn and TikTok, from October 2010 to March 2021, when the screenshot was taken. Interest is also ranked by country and displayed on world map.
Google Ngram Viewer
The chart below shows pageviews of the English Wikipedia article Instagram on desktop from December 2007, and on mobile-web, desktop-spider, mobile-web-spider and mobile app, from July 2015; to January 2021.
- Timeline of Pinterest
- Timeline of Snapchat
- Timeline of Twitter
- Timeline of Facebook
- Timeline of social media
- Well hello there good lookin', @burbn Twitter account, October 21, 2009
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