Instagram (commonly abbreviated to IG, Insta or the gram) is an American photo and video sharing social networking service created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. In April 2012, Facebook acquired the service for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. The app allows users to upload media that can be edited with filters and organized by hashtags and geographical tagging. Posts can be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers. Users can browse other users’ content by tags and locations and view trending content. Users can like photos and follow other users to add their content to a personal feed.
Original author(s) Kevin Systrom
Developer(s) Facebook, Inc.
Initial release October 6, 2010; 10 years
Android 188.8.131.52.120 / July 26, 2021; 36
iOS 198.0 / July 26, 2021; 36 days ago
Fire OS 184.108.40.206.120 / July 26, 2021; 36
Android 220.127.116.11.116 / July 27, 2021; 35
(Alpha) days ago
Android 18.104.22.168.119 / July 27, 2021; 35
(Beta) days ago
Operating system iOS, Android, Fire OS,
Size 171.7 MB (iOS)
38.49 MB (Android)
42.6 MB (Fire OS)
Available in 32 languages
List of languages
Chinese (Simplified and Traditional),Croatian,Czech,Danish,Dutch,English,Finnish,French,German,Greek,Hindi,Hungarian,Indonesian,Italian,Japanese,Korean,Malay,Norwegian,Polish,Portuguese,Romanian,Russian,Slovak,Spanish,Swedish,Tagalog,Thai,Turkish,Ukrainian,Vietnamese,Persian.
License Proprietary software with
Teams of use
Instagram was originally distinguished by only allowing content to be framed in a square (1:1) aspect ratio with 640 pixels to match the display width of the iPhone at the time. In 2015, these restrictions were eased with an increase to 1080 pixels. The service also added messaging features, the ability to include multiple images or videos in a single post, and a ‘stories’ feature—similar to its main opposition Snapchat—which allows users to post photos and videos to a sequential feed, with each post accessible by others for 24 hours each. As of January 2019, the Stories feature is used by 500 million users daily.
Originally launched for iOS in October 2010, Instagram rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and 1 billion as of June 2018.The Android version was released in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited desktop interface in November 2012, a Fire OS app in June 2014, and an app for Windows 10 in October 2016. As of October 2015, over 40 billion photos had been uploaded. Although praised for its influence, Instagram has been the subject of criticism, most notably for policy and interface changes, allegations of censorship, and illegal or improper content uploaded by users.
As of June 2021, the most followed person is Portuguese professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with over 300 million followers.The most followed woman is American singer Ariana Grande. As of January 14, 2019, the most-liked photo on Instagram is a picture of an egg, posted by the account @world_record_egg, created with the sole purpose of surpassing the previous record of 18 million likes on a Kylie Jenner post. The picture currently has over 55 million likes.The second most-liked photo is a wedding photo of Ariana Grande and her husband Dalton Gomez.Instagram became the 4th most downloaded mobile app of the 2010s.
In 2021, Washington Post reported that it has made an international black market for migrant workers, women in Africa and Asia, sold into servitude as maids in Persian Gulf countries.
Instagram was the runner-up for “Best Mobile App” at the 2010 TechCrunch Crunchies in January 2011. In May 2011, Fast Company listed CEO Kevin Systrom at number 66 in “The 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2011”. In June 2011, Inc. included co-founders Systrom and Krieger in its 2011 “30 Under 30” list.
Instagram won “Best Locally Made App” in the SF Weekly Web Awards in September 2011. 7x7Magazine’s September 2011 issue featured Systrom and Krieger on the cover of their “The Hot 20 2011” issue.In December 2011, Apple Inc. named Instagram the “App of the Year” for 2011. In 2015, Instagram was named No. 1 by Mashable on its list of “The 100 best iPhone apps of all time,” noting Instagram as “one of the most influential social networks in the world.” Instagram was listed among Time’s “50 Best Android Applications for 2013” list
In May 2017, a survey conducted by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for Public Health, featuring 1,479 people aged 14–24, asking them to rate social media platforms depending on anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image, concluded that Instagram was the “worst for young mental health”. Some have suggested it may contribute to digital dependence, whist this same survey noticed its positive effects, including self-expression, self-identity, and community building. In response to the survey, Instagram stated that “Keeping Instagram a safe and supportive place for young people was a top priority”. The company filters out the reviews and accounts. If some of the accounts violate Instagram’s community guidelines, it will take action, which could include banning them.
In 2017, researchers from Harvard University and University of Vermont demonstrated a machine learning tool that successfully outperformed general practitioners’ diagnostic success rate for depression. The tool used color analysis, metadata components, and face detection of users’ feeds.
Throughout 2019, Instagram began to test the hiding of like counts for posts made by its users.
Correlations have been made between Instagram content and poor body dissatisfaction, as a result of body comparisons. In a recent survey half of the applicants admitted to photo editing behavior which has been linked with concerns over body image.
In response to abusive and negative comments on users’ photos, Instagram has made efforts to give users more control over their posts and accompanying comments field. In July 2016, it announced that users would be able to turn off comments for their posts, as well as control the language used in comments by inputting words they consider offensive, which will ban applicable comments from showing up. After the July 2016 announcement, the ability to ban specific words began rolling out early August to celebrities, followed by regular users in September.In December, the company began rolling out the abilities for users to turn off the comments and, for private accounts, remove followers.
In September 2017, the company announced that public users would be able to limit who can comment on their content, such as only their followers or people they follow. At the same time, it updated its automated comment filter to support additional languages.
In June 2017, Instagram announced that it would automatically attempt to filter offensive, harassing, and “spammy” comments by default. The system is built using a Facebook-developed deep learning algorithm known as DeepText (first implemented on the social network to detect spam comments), which utilizes natural-language processing techniques, and can also filter by user-specified keywords.
In July 2019, the service announced that it would introduce a system to proactively detect problematic comments and encourage the user to reconsider their comment, as well as allowing users the ability to “restrict” others’ abilities to communicate with them, citing that younger users felt the existing block system was too much of an escalation.
On August 9, 2012, English musician Ellie Goulding released a new music video for her song “Anything Could Happen.” The video only contained fan-submitted Instagram photographs that used various filters to represent words or lyrics from the song, and over 1,200 different photographs were submitted.
In August 2017, reports surfaced that a bug in Instagram’s developer tools had allowed “one or more individuals” to gain access to the contact information, specifically email addresses and phone numbers, of several high-profile verified accounts, including its most followed user, Selena Gomez. The company said in a statement that it had “fixed the bug swiftly” and was running an investigation.However, the following month, more details emerged, with a group of hackers selling contact information online, with the affected number of accounts in the “millions” rather than the previously-assumed limitation on verified accounts. Hours after the hack, a searchable database was posted online, charging $10 per search.The Daily Beast was provided with a sample of the affected accounts, and could confirm that, while many of the email addresses could be found with a Google search in public sources, some did not return relevant Google search results and thus were from private sources.The Verge wrote that cybersecurity firm RepKnight had found contact information for multiple actors, musicians, and athletes, and singer Selena Gomez’s account was used by the hackers to post naked photos of her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. The company admitted that “we cannot determine which specific accounts may have been impacted”, but believed that “it was a low percentage of Instagram accounts”, though TechCrunch stated in its report that six million accounts were affected by the hack, and that “Instagram services more than 700 million accounts; six million is not a small number”.
In 2019, Apple pulled an app that let users stalk people on Instagram by scraping accounts and collecting data.
Iran has DPI blocking for Instagram.
On December 17, 2012, Instagram announced a change to its Terms of Service policy, adding the following sentence:
To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.
There was no option for users to opt out of the changed Terms of Service without deleting their accounts before the new policy went into effect on January 16, 2013.The move garnered severe criticism from users,prompting Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to write a blog post one day later, announcing that they would “remove” the offending language from the policy. Citing misinterpretations about its intention to “communicate that we’d like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram”, Systrom also stated that it was “our mistake that this language is confusing” and that “it is not our intention to sell your photos”. Furthermore, he wrote that they would work on “updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear”.
The policy change and its backlash caused competing photo services to use the opportunity to “try to lure users away” by promoting their privacy-friendly services,and some services experienced substantial gains in momentum and user growth following the news.On December 20, Instagram announced that the advertising section of the policy would be reverted to its original October 2010 version.The Verge wrote about that policy as well, however, noting that the original policy gives the company right to “place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content”, meaning that “Instagram has always had the right to use your photos in ads, almost any way it wants. We could have had the exact same freakout last week, or a year ago, or the day Instagram launched”
The policy update also introduced an arbitration clause, which remained even after the language pertaining to advertising and user content had been modified.