Instagram has become commonplace in our day-to-day lives that it can be hard to remember that there was once a time without it! Today marks 13 years since Instagram launched, and we’ll be exploring how it grew into the popular platform it is today.

The beginning

Since its launch, over 50 billion pictures and videos have been shared on the platform, with 1,074 pictures uploaded every second.

Consumers could see the potential in the app instantly, with 25,000 users when the app launched on iOS in 2010, and by 12th December 2010, the platform had surpassed 1 million accounts registered. Today, reports suggest that there are 2 billion active monthly users, now across both iOS and Android.

The logo

Like most brands, Instagram’s logo has undergone several revisions in its 13-year lifespan so far. Always depicting a camera, the logo and app icon began as a vintage-inspired polaroid camera, before being redesigned into a vintage viewfinder.

The app

It doesn’t take long for users to get used to new features and functions that come with an app update, so much so that it is often hard to then recall a time when the app didn’t allow for all the same things it does today.

Instagram messages (known as Instagram Direct) only launched in 2013, when all chat interactions had to begin with a photo being sent. A far cry from the largely text-based DM’s people communicate with today.

For many, Instagram Stories are used more frequently than the traditional grid, but these only became a feature in 2016, likely taking inspiration from Snapchat’s 24-hour lasting content. Introduced as an “excuse to be imperfect”, Kevin Systrom (CEO at the time) said: “Instagram is a curated feed, but you only get to see the highlights. Stories solve a problem for all these people”.

Instagram Reels are another more recent addition to the platform’s functionality. Introduced in 2020, at the height of TikTok’s growth, Reels allow users to record 30-second clips with effects, audio and other creative elements.


Instagram has become integrated with every aspect of our day to day lives. It’s now how we receive news, communicate with friends and interact with brands and services.

Working in social media, we’ve seen how beneficial Instagram’s power can be to a brand or company’s reputation. Across so many industries, an Instagram profile acts as your virtual shop window, and the brands that lean into this and really get creative with their content can truly reap the rewards.

We’ve seen how much the platform has changed in the last 13 years and can’t wait to see where it goes now!

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Written by Courtney Caile who is PR & Social Media Account Executive at Whistle PR which offers a range of integrated communications services including strategic consultancy, PR, digital and internal communications. For further information, email or contact us here