Timeline of Instagram

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Big picture[edit]

Time period Key developments at Instagram
2010–2012 Instagram launches on the iPhone and grows to 13 employees and to 30 million users (closing at $50 million at a $500 million valuation). It eventually gets acquired by Facebook in 2012.
2013–2016 Instagram introduces features such as videos, direct messaging, and advertising, and grows to over 400 million users. Instagram started insta-stories in August 2016, with Live Stories later added in November 2016.

Full timeline[edit]

Year Month and date Event type Details
2009 October 21 Product Kevin Systrom starts working on the project with the name Burbn.[1]
2010 March 5 Funding Systrom closes a US$500,000 seed funding round with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz while working on Burbn.[2]
2010 May 19 Team Mike Krieger joins the Burbn project[3]
2010 October 6 Product Instagram launches (from Systrom and Krieger) with the hope of facilitating communication through images.[4] It nabs 100K users in one week.[5]
2010 December 12 Growth Instagram hits 1 million users.[6]
2011 January Product Instagram adds hashtags to help users discover both photographs and each other.[7] 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.[8]
2011 February 2 Funding Instagram 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.[9] The deal values Instagram at around $25 million.[10]
2011 June Growth Instagram hits 5 million monthly active users.[11]
2011 September Growth Instagram hits 10 million monthly active users.[11]
2011 September Product Version 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.[12]
2012 April 3 Product Instagram is released for Android phones running the 2.2 Froyo version of the OS,[13] and it is downloaded more than one million times in less than one day.[14]
2012 April 9 Acquisitions Facebook acquires Instagram for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock.[15][16]
2012 April 9 Funding Instagram raises US$50 million from venture capitalists for a share of the company; the process values Instagram at US$500 million.[10]
2012 April 30 Growth Instagram hits 50 million monthly active users.[11]
2012 June Competition Vine (service), a short-form video sharing service, launches.[17]
2012 December 17 Product Instagram 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.[18][19]
2013 February Growth Instagram hits 100 million monthly active users.[11]
2013 May Product Instagram introduces photo tagging and "Photos of You," a new tab on a user’s profile listing every picture he or she is tagged in.[20]
2013 June 13 Product Instagram launches video sharing.[21]
2013 July Product Instagram makes it easier to share posts by adding links to embed photos and videos.[20]
2013 September Growth Instagram hits 150 million monthly active users.[11]
2013 October Controversy Instagram 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.[22] Collins claims the account deletion was unfounded because it did not break any of Instagram's terms and conditions.[23]
2013 November Controversy Instagram 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.[24]
2013 November Product Instagram introduces sponsored post advertising targeting US users.[25][26]
2013 December Team Snapchat announces that it will poach Emily White, director of business operations of Instagram. Emily White will move to Snapchat in January.[27]
2013 December 12 Product Instagram 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.[28][29]
2014 March Growth Instagram hits 200 million monthly active users.[11]
2014 June Product Instagram launches new series of editing tools – allowing users to minutely customize image characteristics like brightness, contrast, highlights, and shadows.[30]
2014 August Team The 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.[31]
2014 August 21 Product Instagram 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.[32]
2014 December Growth Instagram hits 300 million monthly active users.[33]
2015 January Controversy In 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.[34]
2015 June Product Instagram 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.[35]
2015 September 9 Product Instagram allows 30-second ads for all advertisers – twice the 15-second limit given for users.[36]
2015 September International Instagram ads go global.[37]
2015 September Growth Instagram hits 400 million monthly active users.[33]
2015 October Product Instagram launches Boomerang,[38] 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.[39]
2015 November 17 Product Instagram kills off support from feed-reading applications.[40]
2016 February Product Instagram starts enabling users to easily switch between multiple accounts.[41]
2016 March Controversy The Daily Star reports 'one million' explicit porn films found on Instagram. The videos were unearthed by tech blogger Jed Ismael, who says he's discovered over one million porn films on the site.[42][43]
2016 March 15 Product Instagram switches its feed from chronological to algorithmically-driven best posts first.[44]
2016 May 11 Product Instagram 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.[45]
2016 May Product Instagram announces that it will launch new business tools – including analytics that allow users to see audience demographics, post impressions, and reach.[46][47]
2016 June Growth Instagram announces that it has over 500 million monthly active users.[11]
2016 June Product Instagram announces instant translation feature.[48]
2016 July Product Instagram 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.[49]
2016 August 2 Product Instagram launches Instagram Stories. The product works like Snapchat Stories: users can post 24-hour ephemeral photo and video slideshows that disappear.[50] Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom openly admits that the feature is copied from Snapchat, based on the success of Snapchat stories.[51] The feature is viewed as part of Instagram's goal of attracting users away from Snapchat.[52]
2016 August Product Instagram brings in Image Zoom, allowing users to zoom into images.[53]
2016 September Product Instagram removes the Photo Maps feature from its mobile apps, claiming that the feature was not widely used on the platform.[54]
2016 October 13 Product Instagram launches a desktop client for the first time on the Windows 10 platform, which can be downloaded via the Windows Store.
2016 November 21 Product Instagram 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.[55][56]
2016 December 15 Growth Instagram announces that it has over 600 million monthly active users.[57]
2017 February 22 Product Instagram launches a feature allowing users to post multiple photos in one post, in a slideshow-like fashion.[58]
2017 September Competition TikTok, a short video sharing service and social media service, launches.[59]
2018 May 22 Product Instagram introduces the new "mute" feature that allows users to hide posts from certain users on their feed without unfollowing the account. [60]
2018 June 20 Product Instagram 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.[61]
2019 October Product Instagram removes the "Following" activity tab where users could see what the other users they were following would like, comment on and other such activities.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Well hello there good lookin', @burbn Twitter account, October 21, 2009
  2. ^ Siegler, MG (March 5, 2010). "Burbn's Funding Goes Down Smooth. Baseline, Andreessen Back Stealthy Location Startup". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  3. ^ Very excited to welcome @mikeyk to the Burbn team!, @burbn Twitter account, May 19, 2010
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  7. ^ "Introducing Hashtags on Instagram". Instagram Blog. Facebook. January 27, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
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  10. ^ a b Primack, Dan (April 9, 2012). "Did Facebook panic?". CNNMoney.com. CNN. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
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  17. ^ "Vine". Https:. Retrieved September 11, 2016.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
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