Instagram is a photo and short video sharing social network. It was founded in 2010 by software engineer Michel Krieger and computer programmer and former Google-employee Kevin Systrom. The iOS release took place in October 2010, and the Android in April 2012.
The idea for Instagram came when Systrom was holidaying with his partner in Mexico in 2010. He and Krieger had a developed a multi-feature social platform called Burbn, focused on location sharing. He was contemplating adding photo sharing to the platform.
His partner, however, protested that the photos taken on her iPhone 4 were not of a standard to share. Systrom’s solution was to apply filters to the pictures, which quickly became Instagram’s key selling point.
It quickly became apparent that the best course would be to pare down Burbn, which had already attracted $500,000 in seed funding, to focus on this element. Thus, Instagram was born.
Within just shy of two years of operation, it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion. Systrom remained on as CEO until 2018, when Krieger (head of engineering) also left the company.
Instagram was a hit, rapidly gathering users to become one of the world’s biggest and most-influential social media platforms. By June 2018, the platform had hit 1 billion monthly active users.
Video sharing was added to the photo-sharing app in 2013, which mimicked the popular app Vine at the time. Instagram Stories launched in 2016, which allows users to upload a short series of photos, which are deleted after 24 hours.
The latter may have been pilfered from Snapchat, but in terms of sheer user numbers it soon left its rival in the dust. Stories alone boasted twice as many daily active users as its rival counts in total in 2018, with 500 million active users to the 239 million of Snapchat.
Instagram has played a central role in this century’s popular culture, with popular users dubbed ‘influencers’. Influencers have become a key demographic for Instagram, and the app has opened up its platform with shopping and other marketing tools to make these popular users more successful.
Instagram has received some criticism for its role in this growing industry, as photoshopped and fake images are used to sell products. However, Instagram has added filters and tags to ensure that photoshopped items and product placement are correctly identified.
We have collected data and statistics on Instagram. Read on below to find out more.
Instagram key statistics
- Instagram generated an estimated $47.6 billion revenue in 2021, accounting for almost 50% of Facebook’s total revenue
- Over two billion people use Instagram once a month, making it the fourth most popular social app worldwide
- Over 70% of Instagram users are under 35 years old
|Title 1||Title 2|
|Launch date||6 October 2010|
|HQ||Menlo Park, California|
|People||Adam Mosseri (CEO), Kevin Systrom (co-founder), Mike Krieger (co-founder)|
Instagram’s revenue has increased rapidly in the past two years, as the pandemic drew more users and brands onto the platform. It made an estimated $47.6 billion revenue in 2021.
Instagram quarterly revenue 2015 to 2022
Instagram annual revenue 2015 to 2021
Note: Facebook does not disclose Instagram revenue, all values are estimated. Source: Instagram Report
Percentage of Meta Platforms revenue from Instagram
Instagram was responsible for 44% of Meta Platforms revenue in 2021 and is expected to surpass Facebook as Meta’s main revenue source in 2024.
Facebook revenue from Instagram 2015 to 2021 (%)
|Year||Percentage of revenue|
Sources: Bloomberg, Facebook
Instagram reached two billion active users in Q3 2021 and has continued to grow at a steady pace. It is on track to reach 2.5 billion by 2023.
Instagram quarterly users 2013 to 2022
Instagram annual users 2013 to 2021
Note: Facebook updates Instagram MAU figures intermittently. Some values are estimated
Instagram users by region
Almost half of all Instagram users are in the Asia-Pacific region, with India and Indonesia two of the five largest markets in terms of active users.
Instagram users by region 2021
Source: Instagram Report
Instagram age demographics
70% of Instagram users are under 35 years old, but similar to Facebook, the percentage of users over 35 has increased every year since 2018.
Instagram age demographics 2021 (%)
|Age||Percentage of Users|
Instagram gender demographics
Gender demographics on Instagram are almost at 50/50, although in the app’s largest market (India) over 65% of users are male.
Instagram gender demographics 2021 (%)
|Gender||Percentage of Users|
Instagram vs social apps: users
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How many times has Instagram been downloaded?
Instagram has been downloaded approximately 3.8 billion times. It was the fourth most downloaded app in the 2010s
How many people use Instagram Stories?
There are 500 million daily active users, approximately 1/3 of Instagram’s total audience
Who is the most followed account on Instagram?
Cristiano Ronaldo is the most followed user on Instagram, with 347 million followers as of September 2021
What is the most followed brand on Instagram?
Instagram is the most followed brand at 424 million users, followed by National Geographic with 186 million
What is the most interacted with industry?
Fashion accounts were responsible for 25% of all brand interactions on Instagram (Socialbakers)
What percentage of teenagers in the US use Instagram?
84% of US teenagers use Instagram, with 25% saying its their favourite social media platform (Marketing Charts)
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