Four Things You May Not Know About Instagram

The biggest high tech story the last couple of days has been Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app that allows users to add filters to pictures they take with their smartphones.

The free app—which essentially functions as a mobile social network, allowing users to follow each other and share their visual content—is available for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system. Instagram has been one of the hottest mobile apps, and Apple named it the 2011 App Store iPhone App of the Year.

So, it’s safe to assume that Instagram will be sticking around for a while. With that in mind, here are five things you may not know about Instagram that you can arm yourself with for your next digital strategy meeting. If your boss hasn't already asked, "Why aren't we on Instagram?" she will soon. 

  1. Instagram launched on Sept. 20, 2010. As The Wall Street Journal’s marketplace editor Dennis K. Berman tweeted on the day Instagram was purchased: “Remember this day. 551-day-old Instagram is worth $1 billion. 116-year-old New York Times Co.: $967 million.”

  2. It has been growing at a staggering rate. On its first day, 25,000 users downloaded the app. It reached 1 million users in three months, and took one year to hit 10 million users. For the sake of comparison, its new owner, Facebook, needed a little over two years to reach that milestone. Today, it has more than 30 million users, and it hasn’t even turned 2 years old yet. Considering that Facebook has over 845 million users, 425 million of which access Facebook monthly through mobile, according to Facebook’s own S-1 filing with the SEC, it’s not hard to believe that the number of Instagram users will continue to grow exponentially.

  3. It can be integrated with Hipstamatic, which is the other popular app that allows users to take photos and apply Polaroid-like filters. Unlike Instagram, Hipstamatic is a paid app ($1.99).

  4. Instagram has 13 employees. The (former) start-up had four employees last year, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Mashable reports that the amount each employee will earn from this $1 billion acquisition will depend on how much time he or she has spent with the company. Instagram’s co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, will net around $400 million and $100 million, respectively.

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Follow Sahil Patel: @sizpatel