What is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking platform. It was founded by American programmer Kevin Systrom and software engineer Mike Krieger and released in 2010. The service was acquired by Facebook and has been in their umbrella of social media companies with WhatsApp and Facebook since 2012. 

Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms globally, with 1 billion users worldwide, making it the 4th most downloaded social media app globally. Instagram has many appealing features that have users globally hooked on the app. It lets you share photos and videos to your feed, upload a story, and add music. 

Additionally, Instagram enables you to like and follow other users’ accounts, send direct messages, and even post ads for your business.

Let’s learn more about Instagram.


Instagram has had an interesting evolution over the years; the app was originally exclusive to iOS. In 2012 the app was made available in Android’s play store due to its rapidly growing popularity. The app was developed to be compatible with Amazon’s Fire OS and Windows 10 in 2012. 

In addition to Instagram’s growing compatibility with different operating systems, there have been many changes in the app itself regarding features and capabilities over the years. For example, initially, the app only allowed users to post media in a square (1:1) aspect ratio with 640 pixels because it was compatible with iOS devices’ screen sizes. 

Eventually, the ratio and pixel sizes were increased, along with the length of the videos you could upload. Moreover, the app introduced direct messaging, and users could upload stories on their accounts that would expire in 24 hours. 


There are many features on Instagram that have helped the app garner its massive popularity. Here are some of the most popular features of Instagram. 

1. Editor and Filters

Instagram has a built-in photo and video editor on the app. Users can touch up their content before uploading with a comprehensive editor that lets you adjust brightness, shadows, contrast, highlights, fade, colors, vignette, structure, tint, saturation, and exposure. In addition to the editing options, the built-in editor has 15 adjustable pre-set “filters” that you can apply to your photos and videos. 

Although photographic filters were initially introduced and popularized by Snapchat, apps such as Instagram and TikTok developed filters that users could apply while taking photos and videos. Instagram has thousands of photographic filters that you can use to enhance your content. Instagram also has gifs and other animated graphics available as overlays on your content. 

2. Stories

Instagram lets you upload stories to your feed that your followers can view 24 hours before they expire. Users love this because it’s much less committal than uploading their daily content on their feed. 

Nowadays, users like to keep their Instagram feeds consistent and aesthetically pleasing; photos of their breakfast, workplaces, and restaurants can tend to muddle the aesthetic. Instagram’s story feature lets you post what you’re doing as you’re doing it, play-by-play. 

3. Hashtags

Users can add hashtags to the captions of their content on the feed and their stories on Instagram. Hashtags make it easier for like-minded users to find relatable content and get the word out about trending topics. Users have employed Hashtags to get important issues and movements trending on the platform, nationally and internationally. 

4. Direct Messaging

Instagram has “DMs” enabled for its users so they can privately message one another. Instagram DMs have appealing options such as “unsend,” where you can un-send a message in case of a mix-up. Instagram DMs also have disappearing media like Snapchat; this means it’s only temporarily visible to the person you’ve sent them to, and they can’t save it on their device. 

5. Ads

Instagram allows businesses to post paid ads and sponsored content on their platform. This is a great feature if you’re a small business working to gain more visibility with your target audience. Numerous brands have incorporated social media into their digital marketing strategies due to features such as these. 

The Bottom Line

Instagram has numerous exciting features that have made it a giant in the social media world. Instagram lets you share your media content in interesting and aesthetically appealing ways. The app’s user base is only expected to grow over the coming years.