Timeline of Instagram

Last updated

Below is a timeline of the social networking service Instagram.



YearMonth and dateEvent typeDetails
2009October 21Product Kevin Systrom starts working on the project with the name Burbn. [1]
2010March 5FundingSystrom closes a US$500,000 seed funding round with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz while working on Burbn. [2]
2010May 19Team Mike Krieger joins the Burbn project [3]
2010October 6ProductBurbn is rebranded to its current name Instagram (from Systrom and Krieger) with the aim of facilitating communication through images. [4] Over 25,000 users registered on launch day, and over 100,000 in a week since launch. [5] [6]
2010December 12GrowthInstagram surpasses 1 million registrations. [7]
2011JanuaryProductInstagram adds hashtags to help users discover both photographs and each other. [8] 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. [9]
2011February 2FundingInstagram 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. [10] The deal values Instagram at around $25 million. [11]
2011JuneGrowthInstagram hits 5 million monthly active users. [12]
2011SeptemberGrowthInstagram hits 10 million monthly active users. [12]
2011SeptemberProductVersion 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. [13]
2012April 3ProductInstagram is released for the Android operating system with support starting at version 2.2 "Froyo", [14] and it is downloaded more than one million times in less than one day. [15]
2012April 5FundingInstagram raises US$50 million from venture capitalists for a share of the company; the process values Instagram at US$500 million. [11] [16]
2012April 9AcquisitionsFacebook acquires Instagram for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. [17] [18]
2012April 30GrowthInstagram hits 50 million monthly active users. [12]
2012JuneCompetition Vine (service), a short-form video sharing service, launches. It was acquired by Twitter in October that year. [19]
2012December 17ProductInstagram 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. [20] [21]
2013FebruaryGrowthInstagram hits 100 million monthly active users. [12]
2013MayProductInstagram introduces photo tagging and "Photos of You," a new tab on a user's profile listing every picture he or she is tagged in. [22]
2013June 13ProductInstagram launches video sharing. [23]
2013JulyProductInstagram makes it easier to share posts by adding links to embed photos and videos. [22] [24]
2013SeptemberGrowthInstagram hits 150 million monthly active users. [12]
2013OctoberControversyInstagram 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. [25] Collins claims the account deletion was unfounded because it did not break any of Instagram's terms and conditions. [26]
2013NovemberControversyInstagram 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. [27]
2013NovemberProductInstagram introduces sponsored post advertising targeting US users. [28] [29]
2013DecemberTeam Snapchat announces that it will poach Emily White, director of business operations of Instagram. Emily White will move to Snapchat in January. [30]
2013December 12ProductInstagram 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. [31] [32]
2014MarchGrowthInstagram hits 200 million monthly active users. [12]
2014JuneProductInstagram launches new series of editing tools allowing users to minutely customize image characteristics like brightness, contrast, highlights, and shadows. [33]
2014AugustTeamThe 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. [34]
2014August 21ProductInstagram 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. [35]
2014DecemberGrowthInstagram hits 300 million monthly active users. [36]
2015JanuaryControversyIn 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. [37]
2015JuneProductInstagram 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. [38]
2015JuneProductDesktop website redesigned to look consistent with the mobile web site and app.
2015September 9ProductInstagram allows 30-second ads for all advertisers twice the 15-second limit given for users. [39]
2015SeptemberInternationalInstagram ads go global. [40]
2015SeptemberGrowthInstagram hits 400 million monthly active users. [36]
2015OctoberProductInstagram launches Boomerang, [41] 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. [42]
2015November 17ProductInstagram kills off support from feed-reading applications. [43]
2016FebruaryProductInstagram starts enabling users to easily switch between multiple accounts. [44]
2016February 11ProductView counter added to videos. Views were counted since November 19th, 2015, meaning videos posted prior to that date lack the view count data. [45] [46]
2016MarchControversyTech blogger Jed Ismael claims he has discovered over one million porn films on Instagram. [47]
2016March 15ProductInstagram switches its feed from chronological to algorithmically-driven best posts first. [48]
2016May 11ProductInstagram 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. [49]
2016MayProductInstagram announces that it will launch new business tools including analytics that allow users to see audience demographics, post impressions, and reach. [50] [51]
2016JuneGrowthInstagram announces that it has over 500 million monthly active users. [12]
2016JuneProductInstagram announces instant translation feature. [52]
2016JuneProduct API restrictions such as shutdown of feeds and restricted access to "followers"/"following" lists, and naming restriction for third-party applications to prohibit the text strings "insta" and "gram". The earliest announcements of these date back to November 2015. [53]
2016JulyProductInstagram 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. [54]
2016August 2ProductInstagram launches Instagram Stories. The product works like Snapchat Stories: users can post 24-hour ephemeral photo and video slideshows that disappear. [55] Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom openly admits that the feature is copied from Snapchat, based on the success of Snapchat stories. [56] The feature is viewed as part of Instagram's goal of attracting users away from Snapchat. [57]
2016AugustProductInstagram brings in Image Zoom, allowing users to zoom into images. [58]
2016SeptemberProductInstagram removes the Photo Maps feature from its mobile apps, claiming that the feature was not widely used on the platform. [59]
2016October 13ProductInstagram launches a desktop client for the first time on the Windows 10 platform, which can be downloaded via the Windows Store.
2016November 21ProductInstagram 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. [60] [61]
2016December 6ProductAbility to mark comments as liked (initially on mobile apps only) [62]
2016December 15GrowthInstagram announces that it has over 600 million monthly active users. [63]
2017February 22ProductInstagram launches a feature allowing users to post multiple photos in one post, in a slideshow-like fashion. [64]
2017May 4ProductAbility to upload pictures from mobile website introduced, but not yet videos. [65] [66]
2017June 13ProductArchive posts on profile. Allowing users to not permanently delete posts but with the archive feature remove or reintroduce posts later without losing likes and comments. [67]
2017August 15ProductThreaded comments introduced. Previously, comments under posts were chronological, linear, and not structured, where responding to a user was only done through "@username" mentioning. [68]
2017SeptemberCompetition TikTok, a short video sharing service and social media service, launches. [69]
2017December 12ProductAbility to follow hashtags in addition to users [70]
2018April 25thProduct Data portability export options, allowing users to download an archive of their account data, as mandated by the General Data Protection Regulations. [71]
2018May 22ProductInstagram introduces the new "mute" feature that allows users to hide posts from certain users on their feed without unfollowing the account. [72]
2018June 20ProductInstagram announces the launch of IGTV, a video platform intended to compete against YouTube. Users will now be able to upload videos of up to 10 minutes, while creators and accounts with larger audiences can upload videos of up to one hour. IGTV will have a dedicated button in the Instagram app, in addition to a standalone app released that same day. [73]
2018JuneGrowthInstagram announces that it has over 1 billion monthly active users. [74]
2019May 19ProductInstagram announces "Shops" allowing for a virtual storefront on the app where users can buy and sell things completely within the app. [75]
2019OctoberProductInstagram removes the "Following" activity tab where users could see what the other users they were following would like, comment on and other such activities.
2020MayProductInstagram launches new "Guides" feature enables users to engage with wellness-focused creators to take part in mental health discussion. [76]
2021OctoberProductInstagram drops the IGTV tab and revamps its video format. [77]
2021NovemberProductInstagram adds option to remove single photos from carousels. [78]
2021DecemberGrowthInstagram reaches over 2 billion monthly active users. [74]
2023JanuaryProductIn addition to the Story Highlights feature, Instagram is also introducing a new feature called "Live Story Replay." This allows users to save their live stories and watch them again at a later time, as well as share them with others. [79]
2023FebruaryProduct Meta announces paid verification on Instagram through a subscription service called Meta Verified. It originally launched in Australia and New Zealand to test the feature. [80]
2023MarchProductMeta Verified is now available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. [81] There is a waiting list for other countries.
2023JuneProductMeta Verified is now available in India. [82]

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