Who Founded Instagram And How Did They Become So Successful?
April 17, 2012
Facebook used a combination of cash and stock to purchase Instagram for $1 billion today ( Monday April 9th ). CEO Mark Zuckergerg wrote "Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together."
But why have Facebook decided to purchase Instagram for double its market value, and who are the new millionaire founders?
Who Founded Instagram?
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger are the brains behind Instagram. Both Stanford University graduates although they had not met while at the college.
They eventually crossed paths while in Mayfield Fellows program. This Stanford initiative gave students insights into successful and failed start ups and also provides internships.
Systrom had previously worked on Google's Gmail and was building an app that allowed location-aware photo and note sharing, originally called 'Burbn',
Kevin was an early adopter of Burbn. In 2010 they featured Burbn on mobile photography with an initial $500,000 seed funding from San Fan Cisco funders. But the site concentrated on the check in aspect of photo sharing and was not taking off as they expected.
I remember what i call a 'pivot' day. We sat down and said 'what are we going to work on next? How are we going to evolve this product into something millions of people will want to use? Systrom said in 2011.
Burbn was scaled to "Instagram" and users were quickly accumulated.
The Rise Of Instagram
By December they had already notched up one million registered users. Soon ( June 2011 ) they announced 5 million users and in September they had passed 10 million users.
The beauty of Instagram lies in the simplicity and social aspect. Photos are instantly transferred to a more square shape, reminiscent of the Kodak and instamatic cameras. This adds a new dimension when posting photos and is id different to traditional online photos which are 4:3 aspect ratio. As of July 2011 100 million photos had been uploaded to Instagram. 50 million more photos were upload during the next month.
How Do Instagram Plan On Making Money?
This rapid growth had not tempted Systrom and Krieger's to start monetising Instagram, or charging a fee per user.
We're moving in a very clear direction that will allow us to make money in the future. In the history of advertising the most profitable avenues of advertising have been pushing images to people". Systrom said.
Instagram now had over $7.5 million in funding but still only 4 office employees
To the disdain of iphone users instagram announced that it would be launching for Android. Within 12 hours of its product launch instagra had crossed more than 1 million downloads.
How Much Is Instagram Worth and Why Do Facebook Want it?
Instagram closed a 50 million funding round last week with several high profile investors. This round valued the service at around 500 million. So why did Facebook value the company at 1 billion? According to reports, Facebook is desperate to make its service more appealing on smart phones. With many reports of people stil unhappy with iphone and android Facebook apps, this could be what Facebook needs to truly grab the online market.
Instagram has no plans to dispand and Systrom and Krieger will be working alongside the Facebook team to bring continually evolve instagram. With a San Fran Cisco office that has still only just employed its tenth person, this is one of the biggest social investments of our generation.
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