Social Media

What is Instagram?

August 17, 2023 by

Picture this: it’s a sunny afternoon, and you’re sitting with your friends at your favorite café, sipping on your lattes and chatting away. Suddenly, one of your friends pulls out her phone and starts scrolling through pictures of her recent vacation.

She tells you all about the amazing sights she saw and the delicious food she ate, and you can’t help but feel a little envious. But then she says something that catches your attention: “I posted all of these on Instagram!”

You’ve heard the name before, of course, but you’ve never really understood what Instagram is all about. Is it just another social media platform? A place to share photos?

A way to connect with people from all over the world? As your friend continues to show off her pictures, you start to wonder: what exactly is Instagram, and why is everyone so obsessed with it?

If you’ve ever found yourself asking these questions, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Instagram and explore what makes it so unique.

From its humble beginnings as a photo-sharing app to its current status as a global phenomenon, we’ll uncover the secrets behind Instagram’s success and explain why it’s become an essential part of modern life. So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Instagram.

In this guide, you’ll learn what Instagram is, what devices you can access it on, statistics of its users, some facts about the company, and more!

We’ll be covering the following topics (click on a bullet point to jump to that section):

Table of Contents

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media website that allows people to take photos or videos by using their smartphone or tablet device.

They can then share them on Instagram or with other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.


Who Created Instagram?

Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October 2010. It was then bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.

At first, Facebook didn’t have many plans to monetize Instagram but it has since added advertisements and paid features.

What is Instagram Used For?

The main purpose of Instagram is to allow users a platform for sharing their photos and videos by applying some visual styles, filters, and effects.

Instagram also offers a range of features and tools, including:

1. Feeds

Users can see the posts of accounts they follow in their feed, which includes photos, videos, and captions.

2. Stories

Temporary photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Stories often feature stickers, text, and interactive elements.

3. IGTV (Instagram TV)

A feature for sharing longer videos, typically in a vertical format, aimed at creators and influencers.

4. Reels

Short-form videos, often set to music, allowing users to create engaging and creative content.

5. Explore

A section where users can discover new content, including posts, videos, and Stories, based on their interests and interactions.

6. Direct Messaging

Users can send private messages, photos, and videos to individuals or groups.

7. Hashtags

These can be added to posts to make them discoverable to a broader audience interested in similar topics.

8. Likes, Comments, and Shares

Users can engage with content by liking, commenting, and sharing posts with their followers.

9. Business and Creator Tools

Instagram offers features for businesses and content creators, including insights into post performance, the ability to promote posts, and e-commerce integration.

10. Live Streaming

Users can go live to broadcast real-time video to their followers, allowing for interactive engagement.

11. Shopping

Businesses can set up a shop on Instagram, making it possible for users to browse and purchase products directly from the platform.

12. Sponsored Content

Influencers and businesses can collaborate for paid partnerships to promote products and services to their audiences.

instagram purpose
scrolling on Instagram

Why Would People Want to Share Photos?

One of the reasons people like to share photos is so they can build a community around what they post.

By sharing photos or videos, you give others an insight into your life and interests. People who enjoy similar things will follow you on Instagram and get updated when you put something new up.

What are the Disadvantages of Instagram?

1. Public Domain

One disadvantage of Instagram is that it’s in the public domain, which means anyone in the world can see what you’re posting.

If you post pictures or videos that are inappropriate or not meant for everyone to see, then others might be able to view it if they want.

2. Mental Health

Another disadvantage is mental health.

Some people have been linked to depression and anxiety after they’ve overused Instagram or posted certain types of material.

instagram mental health
mental health

What are the Advantages of Instagram?

1. Community

One advantage of Instagram is that it’s a great way to build a community around your interests.

It allows you to get inspired by the photos and videos other users share and inspires interesting conversations between people who enjoy similar things.

2. Entertainment

There is no doubt that Instagram can be an engaging and entertaining platform.

With the introduction of video, shopping, and reels, this is especially true.

To see funny videos, cat memes, and posts from our friends, there are hours of entertainment on Instagram.

What Devices Can Access Instagram?

Instagram can be accessed through a computer or any mobile device. The website is also optimized for viewing through tablets.

What are the Popular Features on Instagram?

1. Instagram Hashtags

One popular feature on Instagram is hashtags. These are words or phrases that start with a hash mark (#).

instagram hashtag

This makes it easier for users to find things they’re interested in under certain categories.

For example, if you wanted to find information about animals, you could search #animals on Instagram and see what other users have posted.

2. Instagram Stories

Another popular feature is Instagram Stories.

This allows users to take photos and videos that will be displayed for 24 hours before they disappear.

instagram stories
Instagram stories

3. Instagram Live

Finally, another feature on Instagram is live streaming through Instagram Live. You can start a live video by tapping the “Live” button and sending it out to all your followers.

Other people can comment and send “hearts” to you while you’re streaming. Live videos disappear when the stream is over.

4. Instagram Direct

Instagram Direct is a messaging feature for Instagram users. It allows you to take photos and videos, add text, drawings or emoji icons, and send them privately to another user.

You can also send media to an entire group of friends.

instagram dm
“DM” for short

5. Instagram Reels

Instagram reels are short, entertaining videos designed to capture quick attention. The user who creates reels can express their creativity and entertain their audience.

It has been stated that Instagram Reels were created to compete with the growing popularity of the short video format platform — TikTok.

How Did Instagram Get its Name?

Instagram got its name from combining two words: “instant camera” and “telegram.”

“Instant camera” is meant as a way to describe that Instagram is a fast way of sharing photos and videos with others.

“Telegram” explains the primary function as a visual messaging service.

How Does Instagram Make Money?

Instagram primarily makes money through advertisements and paid features. They also make money through the use of analytics to track user behavior.

How Old is Instagram?

Instagram was created in 2010. It was first released as an iOS app on October 6th, 2010 for iPhone users.

Two months later, the Android app was released allowing more users to access Instagram.

How Many People Use Instagram?

Roughly one billion monthly active users use Instagram.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Facebook and Instagram?

Facebook is a social networking site that allows users to connect with friends and family, join groups, and share updates, photos, and videos. Instagram is a visual platform where users can share photos and short videos, follow their interests, and discover new content. While both platforms allow for social interaction, Facebook is more versatile and offers a wider range of features, while Instagram is focused on visual content and discovery.

Why do people post on Instagram?

People post on Instagram to express themselves creatively, share their experiences, and connect with others who share their interests. Instagram provides a platform for users to curate their own personal brand and showcase their life, hobbies, and passions through photos and videos.

Why do people prefer Instagram over Facebook?

People may prefer Instagram over Facebook because of its visual focus, simplicity, and mobile-first design, making it easier to navigate and use on smartphones. Instagram also has a younger and more engaged audience, making it a more attractive platform for businesses and individuals looking to build their brand or promote their products.