Social media platforms come and go just like any other trend. Today I'm going to dive into one of my favorite social media platforms: Instagram.
Let's start with a brief background on this engine and see how they got to where they are today.
Started on October 6 of 2010, the platform picked up a million users in its first two months and was destined to be a major player from its humble beginnings. In less than a year, they earned their 150th millionth upload. In September of 2011, the company released version 2.0 and less than a week after that announcement, they company announced that they'd reached 10 million users.
2012 brought several changes to Instagram. First, they launched version 2.1 in February. April was very monumental due to the fact that they launched their Android app and were purchased almost immediately after by Facebook. The purchase price was reportedly $1 billion, however the final price ended up being "only" $715 million since the share price of Facebook sharply declined.
Only a few months after this historic purchase, the number of users grew to 80 million. Six months later, the company boasted 100 million users and added features including video and the ability to embed posts.
In October of 2013, Instagram launched sponsored posts and videos. The last reported update was in September where CNBC reported that they'd surpassed 400 million active monthly users, putting their user count higher than Twitter.
What is Driving Instagram's Growth?
Using the search engine and website research tool SEMRush, I've found that the growth curve isn't slowing down in 2016. Here are the top five reasons why Instagram continues its surge and is becoming a social media platform that cannot be ignored.
1. Appeal to all ages and demographics
You've heard the saying "a picture is worth 1,000 words". This is the premier reason that Instagram jives with people of all ages and races. Who doesn't like to see photos of people they look up to? Who doesn't appreciate a photo of something artistic, unique, or out of this world bizarre? Users can view life, sports, nature, and celebrities with a simple refresh of their feed, making this the easiest social media platform known to man.
2. Ease of Use
Simply take a photo and post it - with just two actions and your photos are online, in real time. What's easier than this? The tech-savvy youth are finding this much easier to use than other social media platforms.
3. Perfect for Those With Short Attention Spans
Facebook feeds become very cluttered, especially when people add long descriptions to their updates. Instagram's perfect for short attention spans because scrolling through your feed is rather simple, allowing users to skip any photos they don't wish to spend time viewing. When you get to a photo you've already seen, you know that you've seen everything that you missed since your last access.
4. Access to Celebrities
Many celebrities are very open to sharing their lives on Instagram. One celebrity who has really embraced sharing his life on Instagram is none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Perhaps one of the best follows on this platform, he posts daily pictures of comedy, motivation, and on-set photos of major movies he's a part of. The access is like nothing offered on any other platform.
5. Search for Third Party Reviews and Photos
If you find yourself trying to make dinner plans but don't know about the menu or ambiance of the place, take your search to Instagram. Not only does the platform allow users to find the official account of the restaurant - which many times will feature information and updates of events, specials, and hours of operation - but a simple search using a hash tag will bring up photos posted by people who have frequented the destination. This enables users to do their own due diligence and view real photos that can help them make an informed decision before making a reservation.
There's no question that Instagram is highly addictive. These five reasons for the platform's growth not only point to that, but also show the sheer value that Instagram continues to offer its users.