Instagram took the world by surprise.
When the app was first introduced, it skyrocketed to 1 million users within 3 months.
Today, that number is closer to 700 million and climbing. This means that the platform is an entirely different animal than it was a couple of years ago.
It has evolved to have more power, more capabilities, and more adaptive perfection for its users.
From where I stand, Instagram has never been more useful than it is right now for personal and business brand building.
Later, I’ll get into detail about the endless opportunities and why you should not neglect this social media platform.
Sure, you may ultimately decide that your target audience isn’t particularly an Instagram crowd. But it would be incredibly shortsighted to not — at the very least — test the platform.
While I feel like this platform needs no introduction, some of you may be new to it.
So, I’d like to give you a few quick facts.
Instagram is a photo-sharing mobile app. It was launched in 2010 as a typical freebie app. There were a lot of other photo apps, but Instagram hit the sweet spot and started to grow exponentially.
They grew so quickly and organically that Facebook took interest and bought them for $1 billion in April of 2012.
As of April of 2017, Instagram has more than 700 million monthly active users!
The evolution of Instagram
Instagram used to be a basic app. You took a picture, you put a filter on it (to make yourself look better), and then you shared it with your small Instagram following.
That was it. No bells. No whistles. Nothing fancy.
That’s no longer the case.
Today, Instagram is packed with tons of features, such as analytics and insights to fantastic filters. Once Snapchat started attracting millions of followers, and apps like Periscope leveraged live video, Instagram rushed to offer these features as well.
For example, you can edit photos using more advanced photo editing features instead of relying on Instagram’s built-in filters.
You can also post Stories. Stories appear at the top of your friends’ feeds and appear there for only 24 hours. If you want to keep your Stories discrete, you can send them only to select friends or curated groups.
You can edit your pictures with text, drawing, and other special effects, much like Snapchat.
Instagram’s Live Video feature is also catching on.
It’s not like most live video platforms because the video disappears as soon as you stop streaming. You can watch live videos only while they’re being filmed.