How Instagram came to be and what it means for your business in 2019

Posted by Rudy Mitra on Jul 25, 2019 10:30:52 AM
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How Instagram came to be and what it means for your business in 2019

Ah Instagram. Regardless of if you think it’s a time waster or fantastic way to connect with your friends and customers, it’s a platform that’s definitely here to stay.


A brief history of ‘the gram’

While it may feel like Instagram has been around forever, it was only launched on the 6th of October 2010 by founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger.

By the end of 2011, it had been awarded App Store App of the Year, in 2013 it reached 100 million users and been purchased by Facebook for $1 billion, and in 2015 launched Boomerang, with Stories following in 2016.

Today there are more than 1 billion active users on Instagram each month (let’s be honest, most of us visit daily or multiple times per day).


The founders

Kevin and Mike sound like a lot of the other tech entrepreneurs of the last decade or so. Two nerds that studied at a world class university, in this case Stanford, and hit the jackpot with an app that people can’t get enough of.

They decided that given the vast number of apps available, they’d refine their ideas to one that focused on photo sharing. It quickly became the number one photography app with 1 million users signing up within the first 2 months.

After leaving the business in late 2018, it wasn’t until recently at SXSW in Texas that Kevin and Mike made their first public appearance together since their decision to move on. They talked about their story, monetisation of the app and the current anger against big tech (particularly in the US) and denied having any plans set in stone post Instagram.


Instagram and your business

Should we be on Instagram? That’s the question that many businesses ask. Being such a visual medium, it’s the perfect way for artists, fashion designers and celebrities to promote themselves, but what about professional services, B2B businesses and doctors?

From an IT standpoint, we may be biased as we have our own Instagram business page (cheeky self-promotion here…follow us: @the_missing_link_it), but it does have a lot of benefits even if your traditional business output is not overly visual. We, and many other businesses, find that Instagram is a great way to showcase our people and events – two vital parts of what makes us unique.

If you have a marketing team, or just someone within your business that loves photography and social media, we believe it’s well worth jumping on board with Instagram.

Launching ads in Australia in 2015, gave businesses more ways to engage with audiences outside of their followers. Single image, image carousel and video ads mean you can showcase your business in a visually appealing way. While traditionally, Instagram’s target audience is teenagers and young adults, approximately 75% of users are over the age of 25. This gives businesses a huge opportunity to engage with customers of all ages.


What’s coming next for business pages?

In March 2019, checkout was introduced. This cleverly keeps users on the platform while still allowing them to purchase from companies they’re interested in. Credit card details can be saved and information about shipping is all contained and communicated in app, effectively turning Instagram into an eCommerce site. Currently only available to people in the US, it’s being rolled out with brands including Zara, Dior, Nike and Burberry under closed beta.

We can’t wait to see what kind of impact this has on traditional eCommerce in Australia once it hits.


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Rudy Mitra

Digital Marketing Coordinator


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