Early last week, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company had acquired photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion. Later reports have suggested that the deal was sudden, taking a mere two days to complete.
What is Instagram ?
Instagram is a free photo sharing program launched in October 2010 that allows users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it on a variety of social networking services, including Instagram’s own.
Instagram was initially supported on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; in April 2012, the company added support for Android camera phonesrunning 2.2 (Froyo) or higher.
|Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger|
Instagram was developed by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, both graduates of Stanford University in San Francisco. On March 5, 2010, Systrom closed a $500,000 seed funding round from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
In January 2011, Instagram added hashtags to help users discover both photos and each other. In September, version 2.0 went live in the App Store (iOS). It included new and live filters, instant tilt shift, high resolution photos, optional borders, one click rotation and an updated icon.
On February 2, 2011, it was announced that Instagram raised $7 million in Series A funding from a variety of investors, includingBenchmark Capital, Jack Dorsey, Chris Sacca (through Capital fund), and Adam D’Angelo. The deal valued Instagram at around $25 million.
On April 3, 2012, Instagram for Android was released. That same week, Instagram raised $50 million from venture capitalists for a share of the company that valued it at $500 million.
By December 2010, Instagram had one million registered users. In June 2011 Instagram announced it had five million users and it passed ten million in September of the same year. In April 2012, it was announced that over 30 million accounts were set up on Instagram.
Instagram announced that 100 million photos had been uploaded to its service as of July 2011. This total reached 150 million in August 2011.
Instagram’s new Android version in Google Play crossed more than one million downloads within 12 hours.
In December 2011, Apple Inc. named Instagram “App of the Year” for 2011.