I read Instagram’s story a few days back. I started thinking.
The founder was a sales guy who learnt programming in his spare time after work! That is really a huge task. I guess when they say passion drives a man, you got to believe that.
The app itself is clean, intuitive and very easy to use. There are a lot of features in place to keep the users engaged and they are constantly innovating.
For instance, the campaign named Weekend Hashtag Project(#WHP) calls for user entries based on a particular theme(the most recent one was #WHPcarcorners). Such campaigns encourage users to think creatively and submit entries hoping to get featured in the Instagram blog. And for some of them, that’s a great achievement indeed.
The official Instagram community also identifies users who have an unique photo feed and those who use the app to express their cultural identities and practices. This is great because Instagram feeds can actually show the skills of a photographer to a stranger. I follow a few of them who use Instagram to display their passion or profession(like surf photography) or stick to a particular theme(like architecture).
The app also gets tips from the users in a series of campaigns and thus provides a platform for the new users to learn them as well.
I have seen and I follow various types of users. There are a lot of photo editing apps that encourage users to tag the photos with certain hashtags so that they can feature them in their official accounts(mextures, vscocam). Then there are communities like instagood that feature users’ photos. More recently, a lot of brands have an instagram account which enables them to connect with the consumers. (No place without companies, eh? ).
I have also seen people collaborating. A guy from Seoul edits a picture taken by someone in Chennai, India! And then there is the famous Instameets. Apparently there are communities in over 1600 cities.
Personally, I feel Instagram is not only a great app but also a great start-up. I have seen people who became passionate in photography after using it. It has helped people transform their lives. Someone who had no interest in life whatsoever, is now holding on to a smartphone, capturing moments and sharing them with the world. After having seen the starry pictures of the northern lights and starry skies, I badly want to go camping to the Arctic someday.
Instagram is changing people’s lives. I think this is what a start-up should be about. Making an impact in peoples’ lives.