Instagram at 6: The app that has changed how we take and share our photos

The company was bought by Facebook back in 2012

Six years ago two men named Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched a free application called Instagram. The concept was simple: allow users to share photos. The app had some 1 million downloads by December 2010, just two months after its release. It's functionality and following has developed extensively since then. 

The pair continued to chip away at the development of their application and by 2012, they had 100 million active users. The same month, the company was purchased by Facebook for $1billion in cash and stock. What's most impressive about this feat is the fact that the company only had 13 employees at the time. 

Some of the notable changes to the service include the addition of video in June 2013, the ability to post photos of any shape, which came into effect in August 2015 and the controversial "Instagram Stories" in August 2016. 

The app has become a staple on the smartphones of hundreds of millions of people around the world. In May this year the company decided to change their logo, from the brown, old school look to a purple, new age look. This didn't go down too well with many.  


Today we’re introducing a new look. You’ll see an updated icon and app design for Instagram. Inspired by the previous app icon, the new one represents a simpler camera and the rainbow lives on in gradient form. You’ll also see updated icons for our other creative apps: Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse. We’ve made improvements to how the Instagram app looks on the inside as well. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app. The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become. Thank you for giving this community its life and color. You make Instagram a place to discover the wonder in the world. Every photo and video — from the littlest things to the most epic — opens a window for people to broaden their experiences and connect in new ways.

A video posted by Instagram (@instagram) on


Aside from that, the company had avoided controversy rather well for a social media business. In many ways, it's looked upon slightly differently than the likes of Facebook or Twitter. The simplicity of the service has always been part of its charm.

Photos, tagging and hashtags; that's all there is to it. 


Dublin 2 right now... #nofilter #justedited

A photo posted by Jess Kelly (@jessicackelly) on

The app has changed how we take, share and store our photographs. Ireland has more Instagrammers than the UK or USA. Phone manufacturer Huawei launched the Snapys last year, the first award ceremony for the platform. 

Last year's competition was huge success with 38,000. This year's Huawei Snapys will be held in Dublin’s Mansion House on Thursday 17th November. With 16 categories to enter, from family to travel, Instagrammers are encouraged to enter by simply uploading their image using #huaweisnapys and # their category.


While many of us simply share photos of our daily commute or our slightly healthy lunch, celebrities use it for a whole host of reasons, including showing off the glamorous ways in which they travel, new products they are selling or to make money. #spon and #ad are becoming more prominent on the profiles of celebrities and well known faces. 


The new blue @livelokai is 🔥🔥 love that it’s also for a great cause 🙏🏼 #livelokai #ad

A photo posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on