Who is the Owner of Instagram? Unraveling the Mystery

Instagram has taken the world by storm since its inception in 2010. But have you ever wondered who is the mastermind behind this billion-dollar platform? In this blog, we unravel the mystery of Instagram’s ownership structure and take a deep dive into its history. From its humble beginnings as “Burbn” to its acquisition by Facebook, we will explore how Instagram came to be what it is today. We will also explore the impact of Facebook’s ownership on Instagram and how it has influenced its direction over the years. So, if you’re curious about the brains behind one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, keep reading!

The Inception of Instagram

In 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger joined forces to co-found Instagram, an Internet-based photo-sharing app. Their vision was to create a platform for people to share their moments visually. Initially, Instagram started as a photo-sharing app exclusively for iOS users. With its user-friendly interface and unique features, the app gained rapid popularity, attracting millions of users. Interestingly, Instagram was originally named “Burbn” before the founders decided to rebrand it. This decision marked a significant turning point in the app’s journey. As a result of their hard work and innovative thinking, Instagram became a rapidly growing app that caught the attention of venture capitalists. This early success paved the way for further expansion, as Instagram continued to evolve and establish itself as a key player in the world of social media. Under Systrom as CEO, Instagram became a fast growing app, with 800 million monthly users as of September 2017. He resigned as the CEO of Instagram on September 24, 2018. According to The New York Times, Systrom’s departure from the company was a significant event in the history of Instagram.


The Original Creators and Their Motivation

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, graduates of Stanford University, embarked on a mission to develop a user-friendly app for photo sharing. Their motivation behind Instagram was to create a platform where people could capture and share beautiful moments through visual storytelling. They firmly believed in the power of images to connect individuals and tell compelling stories. With this vision in mind, Instagram was born. The app quickly gained traction, attracting millions of users who resonated with its simplicity and unique features, such as the ability to frame their photographs in various aspect ratios. The original creators’ desire to bring people closer together through photos became a reality, as Instagram became a fast-growing app that revolutionized the way we share and experience visual content.

The Evolution from “Burbn” to “Instagram”

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger made a strategic decision to shift their focus exclusively to photo-sharing, which led to the rebranding of “Burbn” as Instagram, a portmanteau of “instant camera” and “telegram,” in October 2010. The new name perfectly encapsulated the core purpose and functionality of the app. This rebranding, coupled with Instagram’s clean and intuitive interface, proved to be immensely appealing to users. The app’s simplicity and emphasis on visual content, such as its mobile devices app Instagram, became the defining factors behind its unprecedented success. As Instagram gained more popularity, it solidified its position as a fast-growing app in the competitive landscape of Silicon Valley. This evolution from “Burbn” to “Instagram” marked a significant turning point for the app, paving the way for its future growth and establishing it as a prominent player in the world of social media.

The Key Milestones in Instagram’s Growth

Instagram’s growth has been nothing short of remarkable, with several key milestones along the way. Within a mere two months of its launch, Instagram had already amassed a staggering 1 million users, signaling the app’s rapid rise in popularity. In April 2012, Facebook recognized Instagram’s potential and acquired the platform for a staggering $1 billion. This acquisition not only validated Instagram’s success but also brought together two tech giants in a strategic partnership. Another significant milestone in Instagram’s growth was the introduction of video-sharing in June 2013, expanding the app’s capabilities and providing users with new ways to express themselves. In April 2012, Instagram expanded its reach by launching on Android phones, further broadening its user base. Finally, in June 2018, Instagram achieved a monumental milestone by surpassing 1 billion monthly users, solidifying its position as one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The timing of the app’s release ended up being fortuitous because the iPhone 4– featuring an improved camera–had launched just a few months earlier, in June 2010. Hashtags were introduced in January 2011, with the founders encouraging users to ensure they were both specific and relevant to make photos stand out to like-minded individuals. Instagram’s success can be attributed to its ability to capture the attention of millions of users, becoming a platform that rivals even YouTube in terms of popularity and engagement.

Major Updates and Features Introduced Over the Years

Over the years, Instagram has undergone several major updates and introduced new features to enhance user experience. In December 2013, Instagram introduced direct messages (DMs), allowing users to communicate privately. Then, in July 2015, the app added the ability to upload high-resolution photographs, improving the visual quality of shared content. Following that, Instagram launched its own version of Stories in August 2016, a feature similar to Snapchat, providing a way for users to share temporary photo and video snippets. In June 2018, IGTV was introduced, enabling users to share longer videos, diversifying the type of content shared on the platform. Finally, in November 2019, Instagram introduced Reels, a short-form video feature, enabling users to create and share fun, creative videos. These updates and features, including the recent addition of WhatsApp, have played a significant role in shaping the evolution of Instagram and have contributed to its popularity among users. In July 2020, Reels officially launched in 50 countries, such as the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom, aiming to compete with Twitter.

The Turning Point: Acquisition by Facebook

In April 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram, recognizing its potential as a standalone app. This acquisition by Facebook proved to be a turning point for Instagram’s growth. By joining forces with Facebook, Instagram gained access to the social media giant’s extensive user base. Despite being under Facebook’s ownership, Instagram continued to operate independently, maintaining its unique identity and features. The acquisition marked a significant milestone in Instagram’s journey, propelling it towards becoming the fast-growing app we know today. This strategic move showcased the vision of Mark Zuckerberg and solidified Instagram’s position as one of the leading platforms in the social media landscape. In June 2014, the company introduced an app for the Amazon Fire device, and finally, in 2016, it created an app that made it compatible with Microsoft Windows tablets and computers. The deal with Facebook was finalized in September 2012 after approval from both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Britain’s Office of Fair Trading.

Reasons Behind the Acquisition

Facebook recognized the growing popularity and immense potential of Instagram, leading to their acquisition of the platform. This strategic move allowed Facebook to expand its presence in the competitive mobile app market and enhance its position in the industry of fair trading. Additionally, Instagram’s focus on visual content perfectly complemented Facebook’s social networking service, enabling both platforms to offer users a complete multimedia experience. By acquiring Instagram, Facebook ensured its continued relevance and competitiveness in the rapidly evolving world of social media. The integration between the two platforms opened up new advertising opportunities for Facebook, further solidifying its position as a dominant force in the industry. The acquisition of Instagram also attracted the attention of major media companies like The Walt Disney Company, Lancôme, Banana Republic, CW, and Activision, who recognized the platform’s potential for reaching a large audience and engaging with users through visual content. Moreover, Gezgin & Mihci 2020 found that frequent Instagram usage correlated with smartphone addiction.

The Current Ownership Structure of Instagram

Instagram, a social media platform that has captivated billions of users worldwide, is currently owned by Meta, formerly known as Facebook. As a part of Meta, Instagram now has access to larger resources, which is one of the best tech companies worldwide. For instance, Instagram now has access to larger financial resources to carry out research and marketing. Overseeing the operations of Instagram is none other than Mark Zuckerberg, the renowned CEO of Facebook. Despite being part of the Meta family, Instagram maintains its distinct brand identity, ensuring that its unique features and user experience remain intact. This ownership structure has proven to be beneficial for Instagram, as it has gained access to abundant resources, fueling its continued growth and innovation. With Meta’s backing, Instagram has been able to stay at the forefront of the ever-evolving social media landscape.

Key Figures and Their Roles

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, Instagram’s parent company, plays a crucial role in the overall management and direction of the platform. As one of the original founders, Kevin Systrom served as the CEO of Instagram until 2018, laying the foundation for its success. Additionally, Mike Krieger, another co-founder, held the position of CTO until 2018. Together, they established the vision and technical expertise that propelled Instagram forward.

In addition to these key figures, Instagram has an executive team responsible for handling day-to-day operations and making strategic decisions. This team ensures that Instagram continues to evolve and innovate in response to user needs and market trends. The collective efforts of this talented team contribute to the ongoing success of the platform.

It is worth noting that Instagram’s success cannot be attributed solely to any one individual, but rather to the collaborative efforts of a dedicated team. Their commitment to creating a user-friendly and visually appealing app has made Instagram a beloved platform for sharing moments and connecting with others.

The Impact of Facebook’s Ownership on Instagram

Facebook’s ownership has been instrumental in driving the growth and expansion of Instagram. The integration between the two platforms has allowed for seamless sharing of content, attracting a wider user base. With the resources and infrastructure provided by Facebook, Instagram has been able to continually innovate and introduce new features to enhance user experience. However, there have been concerns raised by some users regarding privacy and data sharing under Facebook’s ownership. Despite these concerns, Instagram has managed to maintain its identity as an independent platform within the Meta ecosystem. As Instagram continues to evolve, it remains a popular choice for users seeking a visually-oriented social media experience.

How Has Ownership Influenced Instagram’s Direction?

Under different ownership, Instagram’s trajectory has been significantly influenced. The acquisition by Facebook in 2012 brought resources and opportunities, expanding the platform’s user base and introducing new features. Mark Zuckerberg’s influence can be seen in strategic decisions, positioning Instagram as a major player in social media.


In conclusion, the ownership of Instagram has undergone significant changes since its inception. From its humble beginnings as “Burbn” to its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has transformed into a social media giant. The current ownership structure consists of key figures who play vital roles in shaping the platform’s direction. Facebook’s ownership has had a profound impact on Instagram, leading to the introduction of new features and updates over the years. While some may argue that this ownership has diluted Instagram’s original essence, others appreciate the opportunities it has brought for growth and innovation. Regardless of ownership, Instagram remains a popular platform for sharing photos and connecting with others.

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