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How Has Instagram changed the Social Media Game?

There’s no denying that Instagram has changed our social media society. In less than eight years, Instagram has gained over 800 million followers. That’s a massive number! Just think about how influential this app has been on humanity. Let’s take a flash back to the past for a moment. We will navigate through Instagram’s past to see how the app has become the social media game changer of our time.


In October 2010, our beloved Instagram launched into the social media world. The app created a mobile photo-sharing app that allowed users to share filtered images onto their profiles. Little did we know that this app would shake up the social world completely. In 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram for over $1 billion dollars. However, there was a catch! At that time Instagram had no revenue. Risky move, Facebook, but I’d say it was worth it. By 2019 Instagram is projected to reach $10 billion dollars in revenue. You may be wondering how Facebook created this unimaginable revenue. They did it through launching sponsored posts, which allowed brands to advertise on Instagram. But, what makes this app an ideal advertiser and a role model for other platforms is what really stands out.

 instagram gif


Remember when you could take a picture of your bed and add a simple caption like “my favorite hello and hardest goodbye”? Or when you snapped a quick selfie with your best friend and slapped it on Instagram before you jumped in the pool? Man, those were the days...

BUT…..Instagram, my friend, you have completely changed the game.

Let’s take a moment to go over the unsaid rules of Instagram:

- The caption must be powerful and engrossing

- Instagram pictures need perfect to be edited, but watch out not TOO much or you’ll be judged

-  Your feed needs to have a cohesive filter or fit a theme

- The bio needs to be appeal to your potential followers

- You need to wait until the perfect time to post the pictures to ensure an ideal number of likes 

instagram screenshot

We could talk about these “rules” for hours. These don’t even touch on the apps created just for Instagrammers’ success… When did Instagram become a formulated process? Can we just go back to the simple selfies and pictures of our mocha lattes?

So what happens if you choose not to conform to Instagram's unsaid “rules"?  No likes and no new followers. Plus, with the new algorithm, you aren’t even guaranteed a spot on your best friends' feeds.

But, chances are that if you’ve fallen into the Instagram way of life, it’s hard to let your hair down when it comes to other social channels as well. It’s almost like you’ve got to keep up your online reputation. I mean, we can’t let the followers down, right?


Over the past few years, Instagram has become the game-changing social media app. The app is constantly releasing new features that set it apart from the other social media platforms. The ingenuity has caused other social media platforms to seem inferior. They are constantly having to play catch up or change their image and evolve to Instagram standards.

  1. Filters
    • Nowadays, most social media platforms have filter options for photographs. But, Instagram started this trend and they remain the leader in filters and editing functionalities.
  2. Boomerang         
    • In 2015, Instagram launched Boomerang. This feature takes a burst of photos and meshes them together into a little video that plays forward and backwards. This feature creates a fun and unique video.
  3. Focus
    • Instagram just unveiled Focus, which is can be found next to Superzoom under the record button. When you take a selfie, the background will subtly blur making your face stand out. This is essentially portrait mode for the front facing camera. Well done Instagram!
  4. Instagram Stories                
    • Okay Snapchat, we’ll give you credit for the innovative idea behind stories, but you can’t deny that Instagram has taken the idea and perfected it. If you are unfamiliar with stories, a “story” is a a picture or video that is posted to a separate feed on a social media platform. The “story” can be viewed for just 24 hours. Instagram essentially took Snapchat’s idea and differentiated itself by creating unique features. Some of the unique features include a neon pen, exclusive stickers, Boomerang, tagging, polls, and the new Focus feature. We can’t forget live stories. These stories allow you to record or watch a live video with the possibility of sending and receiving messages from your viewers.

What’s next, Instagram?

Instagram is always keeping us on our toes. Who’s to say what the future will hold? One thing's for sure, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for the world of social media! Ta-da Instagram lovers!

Lena Speir

Community Coordinator with a passion for travel and a love for learning. Born and raised in South AL, but loving the city life in Birmingham!

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