Who Owns Instagram?
Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media apps, with 1.4 billion active global users. The platform allows users to share photos, graphic messages, and videos with friends and the rest of the world.
Aside from being a great way to stay connected with friends and family, Instagram is also a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Up to 60% of Instagram users use the platform to find new products. This makes Instagram a valuable asset for any business looking to reach a wider audience.
Today, Instagram showcases several interesting features like Reels, Stories, Explore Page, and Highlights. For businesses, it also offers powerful marketing features like Sponsored Posts, Business Analytics Insights, Advertising Features, and Shop. You can also create and edit high-quality graphic content using the in-app camera features.
With all of these exciting features, you may be wondering, “Who are the brains behind this platform?” But before we answer that, here are some interesting facts about Instagram:
- Instagram gained popularity from its inception, with over 1 million users within the first two months.
- About 995 photos are uploaded on Instagram every second.
- 90% of Instagram users follow at least one brand.
- Instagram is the second most engaged social media app.
- 31.4% of American users are between 25 and 34 years old.
- The Stories feature has over 500 million users daily.
Who Invented Instagram?
Instagram was invented through the joint efforts of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Kevin Systrom, born on December 30, 1983 in San Francisco, California, is the son of the Vice President for HR at TJX Companies Inc. and a marketing executive at ZipCar. He studied science and engineering at Stanford University before becoming a Google marketing associate, then a product manager at a start-up, and eventually working with online communities.
Mike Krieger, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was involved in a class project called “Send me some sunshine,” which was meant to help people in more sunny areas send pictures to those in gray areas to help with seasonal depression. He had no formal computer training but started learning to code while working at NextStop.
Krieger and Systrom met while working on a prototype called Burbn, which was similar to Facebook. Their love for Bourbon originally inspired the prototype.
Systrom and Krieger then found that the picture-sharing section was more popular and began a new project, using an Instagram prototype called Scotch. They would later launch Instagram not long after, with the platform gaining 25,000 users on the first day.
When Did Instagram Launch?
After months of testing and development, Instagram made its big launch on October 6, 2010. The app quickly gained 1 million users three months after. This was a great success for the platform, given that Facebook reached 1 million users in 10 months, while Twitter took two years to achieve the same.
It didn’t stop there. In another six weeks, Instagram users hit 2 million. By August 3, 2011, the app had 150 million picture uploads. On September 11, Instagram introduced in-app camera adjustments and settings and a new icon. This coincided with the iPhone camera technology, and picture sharing spiraled the app to new heights.
They released the Android version on April 3, 2011, and the app reached 50 million users within the month. On June 20, 2013, Instagram launched video sharing, considering how visual content helps in shaping consumption on social media.
Who Owns Instagram Today?
Instagram’s quick success piqued the interest of Mark Zuckerberg, who started negotiations to gain Instagram as part of Facebook, Inc.
Part of his terms was to let Kevin Systrom, the CEO, control Instagram’s growth independently. Facebook, Inc. eventually bought out Instagram on April 9, 2012 for $1 billion in cash and stocks, despite Instagram having only 13 employees.
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger still maintained executive positions to oversee Instagram’s development and implementation at Facebook, Inc. The integration introduced features like video sharing, Instagram Direct Messaging, and Instagram broadcasts.
The two founders eventually left Facebook in 2019.
Other Platforms Meta Owns
Mark Zuckerberg, who has over 50% of the voting shares, continued to gain other software applications for Facebook, Inc. over the years. The conglomerate eventually created Meta Platforms, Inc, which is now the parent company of all Zuckerberg’s mergers and acquisitions.
After purchasing Instagram in 2012, Facebook acquired WhatsApp and Oculus Virtual Reality in 2014. Then, in 2019, Facebook bought Beat Games, the developer of Beat Saber. In 2022, Facebook bought 10% of Jia Platforms’ stocks, and, as a result, the company bought GIPHY for $400 million.
The company also tried to buy Twitter, but as the platform is publicly owned, it was difficult to implement Zuckerberg’s strategy with several private individuals and public entities. It also unsuccessfully tried to bring in TikTok, a platform owned by ByteDance. However, TikTok has risen to become Meta’s biggest competition.
Facebook officially changed its name to Meta last year and announced this during the Facebook Connect Conference in October 2021. The major apps under Meta are now Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Workplace, and Instagram.
Instagram is now owned by Meta. It will be interesting to see if any changes are made to the Instagram ownership structure in the future and whether or not those changes benefit users and businesses alike. Instagram is an incredibly powerful platform for product marketing. With its advanced analytics and ability to track KPIs, businesses can use the app to both sell and market their products with great success.