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Instagram: The New Cool

Social media platforms have evolved over the years and have become a medium for us to share our likes, dislikes, talents. Instagram, however, is a little different from the rest. In its first iteration, Instagram was only about photographs. Users of the mobile app uploaded a photo that they liked and the picture was converted with the help of a filter and then shared on the social media platform. You can like pictures, and re-post them and leave a comment about it. If you like the user’s photos you can follow the account for future updates. Go to and see what else you can do with your Instagram app.

The app was launched as a free app in October 2010 and was an instant hit. In the initial run, it was only available on iTunes for iPhone users, however, in 2012 it was released for Android devices as well. With over 400 million active users, Instagram saw an exponential rise in users and shares, this led the company to get acquired by Facebook in 2012 with a valuation of $1bn.

What Does Instagram Do?

Instagram originally began as a photo-sharing service. It helps people document their most interesting moments and share it with the world. While most Instagram accounts are public, some of the Instagram profiles are private. This helps users curate and decide who they want following their feeds and posting likes and comments.

Instagram originally began as “Burbn”. This service was meant to show photographs of people checking in at various “cool” places. However, the service soon began to resemble another already popular check-in app “Four Square”. The developers then decided to take the fledgling sharing platform towards another direction and that is how Instagram began.

The word Instagram is a combination of three words – “instant camera” and “telegram”. The process of uploading and describing pictures explains this word better. A user takes a photograph and uploads it to the app immediately and conveys their thoughts in short messages. Immediately after launch, Instagram added hashtags – words that are preceded by the “#” symbol – to help its many users find each other on the social media platform.

How Has Instagram Changed Sharing?

While a lot of social media users, especially those who are professional photographers, expressed their disdain for this platform quite openly and talked about how this tool was slowly diminishing the value of actual photography, Instagram was on the rise and its users simply loved how easy it made capturing and sharing moments.

Instagram also gave rise to a popular hashtag – food porn. This basically means sharing images of food that has been styled and captured just for an audience. For the most part, Instagram images were about food and travel. Plates of food that were arranged beautifully and captured with great hashtags were the new way of telling people where you were and what you were doing.

Everything has its fair share of critics of course, and this trend too had its share of critics as well. However, that hasn’t diminished the fact that people are still sharing images of good food as well as of their food experiences on the social media platform. Instagram has become the definitive was of telling great stories through pictures.

The Latest on Instagram

Instagram has always been about stories. And the company launched the “Story” feature in 2016. This enables people to share a short snippet – be it a video or image to their timeline which can be viewed by everyone who has access to the profile.  The stories feature resemble what users do on Snapchat.

You can now add multiple photographs in a single post as well.

It is estimated that on a monthly basis, Instagram has over 600 million active users. This is a huge leap from its earlier days. It is mostly an urban platform as most of the app’s users are from urban areas. They prefer to use this service to document their lives. And since Instagram has been bought by Facebook, it is now possible to share your Instagram stories with your Facebook friends as well.

Social media has been a huge boost to connectivity. Apart from making new friends, Facebook and Instagram have managed to connect people in ways you couldn’t imagine before. So, while we’re busy living our lives, we’re also trying to keep up with it online.