Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking website that was developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010 and later bought by Facebook Inc. Users can post photos and videos that can be enhanced with filters and promoted using hashtags and geotagging. Posts can be shared with the audience or with followers who have been pre-approved. Users can explore content by other users, via tags and location, see what’s trending, such as photographs, and follow other accounts to watch their stuff on their own personal feed.
How did this begin?
Burbn, a mobile check-in software built by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, was the seed for Instagram’s development in San Francisco. They refocused their app on photo-sharing, which had become a popular feature among their users, after realizing it was too similar to Foursquare. Instagram, a mashup of “instant camera” and “telegram,” became the new name.
Facebook, Inc. purchased Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock on April 9, 2012, with the intention of keeping the firm independent. On August 14, 2012, the Office of Fair Trading in the United Kingdom approved the deal, while the Federal Trade Commission in the United States ended its investigation on August 22, 2012, permitting the merger to proceed. The agreement between Instagram and Facebook was finalised on September 6, 2012, with a purchase price of $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock.
According to CNN, the acquisition was completed soon before Facebook’s planned initial public offering. The price was compared to Yahoo’s $35 million purchase of Flickr in 2005. “Facebook is dedicated to building and expanding Instagram independently,” Mark Zuckerberg said.
Instagram introduced a new feature named “Co-Watching” in March 2020. Users can now exchange content with each other over video calls with the new functionality. According to Instagram, the debut of Co-Watching was rushed ahead to satisfy the need for electronically connecting with friends and family as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s social isolation.
The Reels Mania
Instagram unveiled a new feature named “Reels” in August 2020. It’s similar to TikTok’s features. In August 2020, Instagram added suggested posts. Instagram shows users posts relating to their interests from accounts they don’t follow after skimming through posts from the previous 48 hours.
Features and tools
- On Instagram, anyone above 13 years of age can register themselves and make an account. Personal account features are available for users. Users can post images and videos, up to 10 videos or images per post.
- New and live filters, quick tilt–shift, high-resolution images, optional borders, one-click rotation, and an updated symbol were all included in a new version of the programme released in September 2011. Initially, photos could only be cropped to a square, 1:1 aspect ratio; however, the app now supports portrait and widescreen aspect ratios.
- Instagram started supporting Alt text in November 2018, which allows visually impaired people to contribute captions to their photos. They’re either generated automatically using object recognition (using Facebook’s existing technology) or manually by the uploader.
- The Live feature allows the audience to share their live video with a real time audience and ensure maximum engagement. The reels feature added onto humongous engagement on the app. Now it allows 4 People to come live together in “Live Rooms” at a time.
- IGTV, Explore, hashtags, filters, direct and stories are to name a few features of Instagram. Users can promote their businesses here by running ad campaigns and putting up stories, reaching out to public via posts, messages etc.
Perks of being on Instagram
• It improves artistic abilities by allowing users to share photos.
These photos and videos are there on your profile until and unless you decide to take them down.
• Assist in the coordination of communication with multiple communities at the same time.
Various tools and features allows the users and brand owners to target and engage with a spectrum of audience at the same time!
• Create strong social networks and relations.
The direct feature and personalised touches of various features allows people to bond closely and establish a firm and large network. The social media based platform allows people to share their lives with their chosen audience and brew a special bond.
• Is able to share information with friends and family in a unique way.
Live sessions, stories, reels, direct, posts etc. are just to name a few features that allow people to share information with friends and family at the same time.
1. Not everyone owns an iPhone or an Android device
Despite the fact that Android and iOS are the most commonly used smartphone operating systems, with a combined 87.6% of smartphones delivered worldwide, Instagram is only available as an iPhone and Android app, which is a concern. This photo-sharing programme is not available to Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, or Linux users. When you utilise Instagram to promote your brand, you will still be unable to reach a significant portion of your target market.
2. It is a professionally advanced tool
Instagram users need to make sure they’re taking professional photos of their products or services and sending the right message to their followers. Trial and error can help you post the perfect photograph, but you should examine whether the time you spent perfecting the photo could have been better spent somewhere else.
3. The features are limited
Instagram allows users to resize images and enhance photos with 18 different filters, including X-Pro II, Rise, and Early Bird. Each new option, however, must be installed or a cost will be charged. As an entrepreneur, you must be cautious about where you invest your funds.
4. Loss of copyright ownership
The British Journal of Photography’s Olivier Laurent published an article regarding the dangers of social media, notably Instagram, to professional photographers. Instagram is a terrific place to store, caption, and share photographs, but photographers are rethinking how they use the photo-sharing app due to concerns that Facebook will use it to earn cash. “We’ve become complacent with the single asset we have as photographers — our copyright – in our near unrestrained acceptance of sharing our images with for-profit organizations like Instagram,” says John Stanmeyer, one of the agency’s initial founders.
Why Should You Market on Instagram?
The visual nature of Instagram distinguishes it from other social networking networks. Instagram is the ideal medium to promote content if you have a business that benefits from the design of your product or if you offer a service with a visible end result.
Videos, images, and illustrations are all notable content options for this social media platform, but a marketing plan will ultimately determine what type of content to share and how frequently to do so. Planning a strategy before entering a new social media platform, regardless as to how well it works for other businesses, will keep one focused on their goals and, most crucially, their audience.
Instagram is one of the most popular Social media platforms today. It can be used not just as a personal space to connect with people, rather to promote and grow one’s business too. Numerous tools and features of the app make it highly recommendable and easy to use.