Photo-sharing social media giant Instagram turns the ripe old age of five today, with its cultural significance best illustrated by people struggling to remember a time before filtered images.
Founded back in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram was created at a time when social media was exploding and heading in a new direction.
What started (loosely speaking) with Facebook soon included a more instantaneous and public Twitter, both hotbeds of sharing content.
What do people like sharing? Well, pictures of course. Instagram was set up on that basis, and now, with just a few swipes of your thumb, smartphone imagery has a whole new feel.
Instagram recently topped the 400m users per month tally, streaking clear of Twitter, which has 316m, and further strengthening Facebook’s control of the social media landscape.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company bought Instagram for US$1bn four years ago, turning it from a clever product into a cultural behemoth, with its relatively paltry user base of 30m back in 2011 an example of its rocketing scale.
A raft of A-list celebrity users have helped popularise the service to its largely younger audience, with the likes of Taylor Swift (over 46m followers) an example of this.
The most liked photo ever on the site was of Kendall Jenner, reaching 2.5m likes in just over a month.
It’s not just photos that have been influenced by Instagram, either. The other constant in social media, the #, has never been more at home.
Check out this excellent gif-filled infographic, created by One Productions, which should tell the story better. If you can’t quite make it all out then click on it to view in a larger format.
Main image via Shutterstock
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