Instagram is an app for smartphones and tablets that allows registered users to share photos and videos with other users. In addition to this sharing function, Instagram offers numerous photo filters for image editing. Typical for Instagram photos is their square format. Due to the comment and like function, Instagram can also be viewed as a kind of social network. Facebook has owned Instagram since late 2012.
Instagram was developed by two IT programmers from San Francisco who originally created check-in software called Burbn. A photo extension eventually turned it into the Instagram app, which has been available in the Apple App Store since October 2010. Two years later, in April 2012, the app was also available for Android devices.
The name Instagram could be a reference to the “Instamatic” technology developed by Kodak since the optics of the filters used should resemble the optics of the pictures taken with Kodak.
Right from the start, Instagram aroused the interest of numerous prominent financiers, which is why the app has been continuously developed. Above all, the high potential for marketing and advertising was discovered.
At the same time, the number of users of the popular free app has increased very quickly since its release. A spectacular high point in the company’s history was when Facebook announced in April 2012 that it wanted to take over Instagram, with just 12 employees, for a billion dollars. That was the highest amount a company would pay for a digital photo app to date. By comparison, Google’s acquisition of Picasa and Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr were fractions of the $737 million Facebook ultimately paid for Instagram. The acquisition allowed Facebook to leverage the Instagram app’s technology for its own app, Facebook Camera.
Although Instagram was originally only conceived as an app, users have been able to create their own web profiles since November 2012 and in this way also present themselves publicly on the WWW. Since June 2013, videos can also be posted in addition to photos.
According to the company, as of 2013, more than 150 million users use the Instagram app every month. This makes Instagram a direct competitor to Pinterest.
Opportunities for users of the Instagram app
Instagram offers its users several options:
- Edit images with more than a dozen different filters
- Upload images from the album or link directly to a smartphone or tablet camera
- Upload or rotate videos
- Geotag function, which can be used to create a user’s own photo map
- Exchange of photos with other users
- Like function in the form of a heart
- Comment function, with the possibility to use hashtags
- Integration into other web connections via an API
Opportunities for online marketing
Example: Coca-Cola Company web profile on Instagram
Major brands are already using Instagram for broad-based branding marketing campaigns. The advantage of this is that the participants in Instagram campaigns have to be active and can be addressed very emotionally via pictures. In addition to companies, there are also a number of stars on Instagram who, via the link to Facebook, provide their fan communities with current pictures and, depending on the pictures chosen, can also attract the appropriate attention.
Instagram and SEO
So far, Instagram has received relatively little attention in the SEO scene. However, a strong web profile on Instagram could strengthen branding and thereby lead to increased searches for the brand (this can also be the name of an online store) via Google or another search engine. At the same time, a strong Instagram profile could also increase a website’s domain authority.