Instagram was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The Stanford graduates joined forces when Systrom wanted to continue building his app Burbn. Investors encouraged him to find a cofounder, so Systrom began to run through his list of tech friends that might be a valuable asset to a growing app. Mike Krieger came to mind. The two were casual acquaintances with deep mutual respect and admiration for each other’s technological talents. It was an easy transition from coffee shop pals to cofounders of one of the world’s most successful apps.
In 2009, when Burbn came under the Systrom and Krieger team, the app was like many in which users could check-in and post updates. What set it apart was its photo-sharing capabilities. At the time, it was the only app that had an instant photo-sharing function. They leaned into the photo-sharing and liking functions of the app and stripped Burbn of other more common social media features. This is when the name Instagram was officially coined, a combination of the words instant and telegram.
The iOS app launched on October 6, 2010, and within the first two months, the user count reached one million. The app achieved major success and caught the eye of Mark Zuckerberg. The team at Instagram, now running an application that gained over 20 million users in barely two years, and the team at Facebook began discussing a possible acquisition. In April 2012, Facebook offered a $1 billion cash and stock purchase of the app. Instagram accepted with the caveat that it would continue to be managed independently
Systrom and Krieger left Instagram together in 2008, and today the app is headed by Adam Mosseri. The app has debuted many new features since its beginnings, from Instagram stories, to photo series and video capabilities, Instagram DMs, and more. Today there are over 1 billion Instagram users each month, with 140 million American users. It is the fourth most used mobile app. The team at Instagram works under the Facebook company but has a unique position in helping to run the company’s most creative, streamlined, visual-focused app. The team at Instagram is highly creative and passionate not only about communication and connection, but sharing images and videos, whether it be art, portraits, music, or anything, that bring communities together and connect users across the globe.
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CEO of Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg
Head of Instagram: Adam Mosseri
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