Our friends Clarendon, Moon, Lark and Slumber have touched most of our pictures more than our own fingers ever have. Of course, these ladies aren’t real personalities, but the filters on everyone’s favorite photo app: Instagram.
But how did this magical app controlling our aperture come to exist in the first place, and on top of that, becomes such a household name in just a handful of months? Well, no one was more surprised about the almost overnight success of the company than the creators of Instagram Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. It is these two founders of Instagram who developed Instagram to what it is today.
Systrom was raised in an upper middle class family in Massachusetts, he has been quoted in recalling that the idea that you could get rich quickly through start ups and genius ideals was almost scoffed at from his neck of the woods. However, leaving the east coast to attend Stanford university, he quickly found that that idea pervaded the campus. After graduation he worked for Twitter and Google for a short time span, but eventually quit to go off on his own, creating the predecessor and becoming a founder of what we now know as Instagram,
Of course, in the early days Instagram was simply, and less obviously, named Burbn (seemingly because the Instagram founder was fond of whiskey) – and had more than just photos that users could share over social networks. Think of it more like a foursquare with photos. Only, people seemed to not care as much for the “check in” option as they did for the opportunity to socially share photos.
It needed, what many techies in silicon valley call, a “pivot”. A shift and radical change.
In comes Krieger, an acquaintance from Systrom’s alma mater, who would frequent the same coffee shops and trade tech stories as they both chatted about their new jobs. One day, it just clicked and System asked Krieger to sign on as a co-founder and creator of a new app – more appropriately titled “Instagram”. This was a crucial moment in the history of Instagram.
Krieger was known as the brawn and the soul of the operation. Being a techie by nature, Krieger developed the nuts and bolts of the program known as Instagram.
After working on developing the right infrastructure and programing, in October of 2010 Kevin Systrom had finally made the decision to add the amazing app to Apples iTunes store. He was skeptical about how the world would receive the social photography concept, but was shocked as he saw over 10,000 users add the app within hours of its creation!
No wonder why users flocked to this simplistic yet sophisticated looking app. The filters and multiple adjustments available on the app made made it easy for your handheld phone photos to look like a professional had snapped them!
The success of this startup piqued the interest of another associate from Stanford, one Mike Zuckerberg. Facebook had watched this small photo sharing app succeed by leaps and bounds and was intent on making it one of their of their mobile connected companies.
And with a one billion dollar offer, Systrom shook hands on the deal that made a very young app become a part of an incredibly successful social networking company, as FaceBook buys Instagram on April 9, 2012.
Instagram isn’t done yet, and as now mature app, it has set the bar for all other photo based apps on the market today.