Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras. Users can also apply digital filters to their images. The maximum duration for Instagram videos is 15 seconds.
Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010. The service rapidly gained popularity, with over 100 million active users as of April 2012. Instagram is distributed through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone Store. Support for the app is available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android handsets, while third-party Instagram apps are available for Blackberry 10 and Nokia-Symbian Devices.
The service was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. In 2013, Instagram grew by 23%, while Facebook, as the parent company, only grew by 3%.
Weekend Hashtag Project
The "Weekend Hashtag Project" is a series featuring designated themes and hashtags chosen by Instagram's Community Team. Followers receive the weekend's project every Friday, and each project encourages participants to post creative photographs according to the designated theme each weekend.
Throwback Thursday is a widely used trend on Instagram where users post pictures from the past with the hashtag #TBT. This trend usually includes pictures of users' early childhood, past special occasions, or monumental events. This popular trend started in 2011 shortly after Instagram introduced the capabilities of hashtags on pictures. However, according to Google trends throwback Thursday’s popularity didn’t spike until February 2012. This trend has reached popularity through celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Molly Sims.
Selfie, a self-portrait photograph typically taken with a cell phone or digital camera, has become a trending topic on Instagram becoming the “word of the year” by Oxford Dictionary in November 2013. Selfies attract a wide range of viewers as seen by the second most-liked picture on instagram from Justin Bieber’s instagram account. Bieber’s selfie with Selena Gomez acquired 1.82 million likes. This trend has sparked interest within the music industry as well with the debut of the song Selfie by The Chainsmokers in January 2014.