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 processing. Typical for Instagram photos is their square format. Because of the comment and like function, Instagram can also be viewed as a kind of social network. Since the end of 2012, Instagram has been owned by Facebook.


Instagram was developed by two IT programmers from San Francisco, who had originally implemented a check-in software called burbn. An extension to images capability finally resulted in the Instagram app, which has been available since October 2010 in the Apple App Store. 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 are supposed to be similar to the look of Kodak photographs.

From the very beginning, Instagram aroused the interest of numerous prominent donors. The app could therefore be continuously further developed, above all because of its high potential for marketing and advertising.

The popularity of this free app has rapidly increased since its release. A spectacular highlight in the company’s history was that Facebook announced in April 2012 it would take over Instagram with just 12 employees for a billion dollars. To date, this was the highest sum a company wanted to pay for a digital photo app. By contrast, the acquisition of Picasa by Google and Flickr by Yahoo amounted to a fraction of the $737 million paid by Facebook for Instagram. Facebook benefitted from the technology of the Instagram app for its own app Facebook Camera.

Although Instagram was originally only designed as an app, users have been able to create their own web profiles since November 2012, and in this way publicly present themselves on the www. Since June 2013 you can post videos as well as photos.

According to the company, more than 150 million users use the Instagram app every month, as of 2013. Instagram is a direct competitor to Pinterest.


Instagram app user options[edit]

Instagram offers its users various options:

  • Editing images with more than a dozen different filters
  • Uploading images from an album or direct link to the smartphone or tablet camera
  • Uploading or rotating videos
  • Geotag function, with which a user’s own photo card can be created
  • Exchanging photos with other users
  • Like function in the form of a heart
  • Comment function, with the option to use hashtags
  • Integration into other web connections via an API

Possibilities for online marketing[edit]

Large brands are already using Instagram as part of broad marketing campaigns for branding. The advantage of this is that participants in Instagram actions must be active and can be addressed emotionally via images. In addition to companies, there are also a number of stars on Instagram who, through the link to Facebook, can provide their fan communities with current images and, depending on the choice of the images, also provide appropriate attention.

Instagram and SEO[edit]

So far Instagram has received relatively little attention in the SEO scene. However, a strong web profile on Instagram could strengthen branding and result in an increased search for the brand in question (it could 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 the Domain Authority of a website.