It all started with the clicking of photographs. This slice of time caught in a camera holds the capacity to propel the viewer back in time. Nostalgia, is a very good tool for user engagement. In fact memories can provoke people to participate in countless hours of interaction. Additionally, the data caught in that frame can lead to generation of myriad ideas & hypothesis. In other words, still more avenues to keep the visitor hooked.
This aspect really took wings with the advent of digital photography. While earlier photography required long hours for the fruits of labor to be viewable & sharable, digital photography brought that time to mere minutes. Instagram brought it down to seconds & that’s its primary appeal.
This must have been the idea when Instagram was born in 2010 with a healthy seed funding of US$ 200,000. Initially known as “Burbn”, its founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger chose to launch the same as an ‘App’ on Apple’s virtual market place ‘App Store’. Within a year, the duo managed to get funding to the tune of US$ 7 Million from Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame who saw the potential such a simple idea held.
An infographic from Infographic Labs allows us to visually trace its route to success.
The Numbers: Within 9 months of its launch Instagram reached the milestone of 1 million users. Additionally, the affirmation from its users lied in the fact that the app had only been a month old on the Apple’s App store. By August of last year Instagram had been able to ‘collect’ 150 Million photographs uploaded by it’s, soon to cross, 10 Million users.
The Support: With Version 2 launch supporting significant functions like high-resolution uploads, live-filters & tilt-shift focus etc, users thronged & the launch of Android version was the last drop that broke the dam. People flooded towards this app & as of April this year Instagram has 30 Million users. In fact the Android app was downloaded over 1 Million times on the single day of its launch.
The Financial Angle: Apart from the two rounds of funding, Instagram managed another US$ 50 Million before being quickly picked by Facebook, before it became even more costly. The famous US$ 1 Billion acquisition by the world’s social hangout confirms the potential that such a simple idea & platform holds.
Going from a small startup to a Billion Dollars worth company is surely a fascinating tale. Additionally, the product, till it was picked up by Facebook had not made a single dime in revenue as it had not applied any methods for it. Makes you think; Why did the Social Networking king even think of putting serious cash in a company like this? Well the answer is not that easy, but we speculate the focus of the team & the core of the product is absolutely clean. With no hint of commercialization, Instagram has enjoyed unwavering devotion by its 27 Million users, at last count.
What makes Instagram so appealing? Do share your views.
April 22, 2013, 5:55 am UTC
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