So what about Instagram actually caught users’ curiosity and liking? Is the fact that the application allowed users to tweak the images with its strikingly unconventional borders and filters which made the images more striking adding a nostalgic glow? Or was it the speed and ease with which one could upload and share their photos? While it is yet to be discovered, it’s known that one of the few things that worked strongly in favour of Instagram was that soon celebrities joined the league.
Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were the only two celebrities who had 1 million followers before the android version of Instagram was released. The app gained popularity only after the release of android version and its acquisition by Facebook.
The android version of the application was released by April 2012. This move got them a whooping one million people signing up for them in just 24 hours. The success did not go unnoticed, investors lined up but Mr. Kevin was not interested in selling it. They maintained a small highly qualified team of 11 which included many Stanford graduates.
The decision of not selling Instagram changed when Mr. Kevin met Mark Zuckerberg. The deal was closed in just 48 hours which also speculated that Mark Zuckerberg was threatened by the Instagram’s growth. Also, Instagram acquisition was a perfect solution to strengthen Facebooks’s foothold in mobile application space. Mack Zuckerberg considered this as an important milestone for Facebook’s growth in future. The deal was finalized for a $1 billion cash-and-stock deal.
Following these two events, the big guns on Instagram saw a spike in number of followers. Until now it had seen only 27 million downloads but now it saw 50 million downloads and excluding Instagram’s accounts many more celebs received over 1 billion followers. Today the top 5 spots are occupied by Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Kendalln Jenner. Looking at brands, MTV, Starbucks, Eonline, Victoria’s Secret and Burberry take the top 5 spots.
In recent times, it has been gaining special popularity amongst sports enthusiasts as a number of them kick start their campaign and share their story/experiences post event through images. It has also been seen that smart phone users login and spending more time on Instagram than Twitter. The trend has been consistent since August.
So while visual social media is still in its infancy stage, the unbeatable factor of Instagram success is its mobile aspect. Like pinterest, Instagram is one of the platforms benefiting from it. Instagram being one of Facebook’s biggest investments makes it even more interesting to watch what their next move would be and how will Facebook use Instagram and make it into a money plant.
So stay tuned, as the battle for Facebook and Instagram to continue to remain as a market leader has just begun!