Happy Birthday Instagram

Our favourite app for sharing our best pictures and videos with our beloved and beyond celebrates its 10th anniversary. Let’s remember how it all started to understand how Instagram is now shaping the social media scene.

Once upon a time…

Apart from his job in the tech industry, Kevin Systrom, a Stanford University graduated, worked hard at night and on weekends to learn how to code. As a result, he produced the prototype of a web app called Burbn – a name inspired by his passion for fine whiskeys and bourbons. In its beginnings, Burbn offered features such as check-in, post a plan, and sharing photos. Back in 2009, location-based check-in apps were popular (do you recall Foursquare, Gowalla, or Facebook Places?) and the photo-sharing feature of Burbn was the main difference that set it apart.

One day, Kevin Systrom met venture capitalists and from here, his app was able to progress. Kevin hired a small team of experts to take Burbn to the next level. A few months later, Burbn was no longer called Burbn, but was available on the Apple Store under the name of Instagram. During its first week in October 2010, Instagram had been downloaded more than 100,000 times. With fundraising after fundraising and especially since Facebook’s acquisition in 2012, the forward-thinking app has appealed to a wide audience despite the rise of new platforms such as TikTok.

The visual has always been in the core of everything

Before its official launch on the Apple Store, employees of Instagram already shared the very first pictures of Instagram: a picture of the beach and a picture of a dog. Pretty classic, but still the kind of pictures that we enjoy on our feed nowadays. In terms of its development, the Instagram team decided to put the focus on photographs taken on mobile devices. It was indeed a smart move, especially as the camera on our mobile phones has become more and more high quality over the last decade. 

Instagram has some surprises for you

Like, comment, photo sharing, filters… The original recipe of Instagram is unchanged, though the platform has changed a lot over the past years – as did its logo. For the more nostalgic of us (me included), Facebook is offering you a throwback in time. This month (October 2020), you can change the thumb nail of your app with a former logo. Head to your profile, go to settings, and drag the screen down in the main menu to reveal the hidden app icons listing. From there, you can pick your favourite logo. As another “special gift”, Instagram also released a “Stories Map” which enables you to see the stories you’ve shared based on their locations. Enjoy this journey through time from Instagram!

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