Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share photos and videos either publicly or privately. The app gives the user a profile to share their gallery or feed. Users are able to follow other users in order to see what they are posting and those posts appear on the home screen in chronological order on an infinite scroll screen. Users can like and comment on posts and are also given the opportunity to explore and discover other profiles. It was first introduced in 2010 and created as mix of instant camera and telegram.

Instagram’s evolution can be tracked to photo albums, magazines, and newspapers. The ability to share pictures to others were mainly used in those ways before social media. When social media arrived, Instagram’s predecessors include Facebook and Twitter.  From Six Degrees in 1997, web blogging came to be, which is used to share daily moments or information through the Internet. In 2002, MMS, Multimedia Messaging Service was introduced as a way to send messages that included multimedia content. As Web 2.0 developed in the late 20th to the present, globalization, instant sharing of any kind of information and increased use of mobile phones encouraged a new social media form that would enable the non-professional photograph users to generate high quality photos, view photos and videos of interesting topics and share daily moments similar to blogs. Although it seems like Instagram is just a simpler version of the other two, Instagram had quite a few innovations that attracted people to the simple application.

Compared to the older forms, Instagram allows the user to create a greater depth within a photo through its various filters as well as photo editing tools. The user can now post quality photos to show to their friends where as Facebook and other media outlets do not offer the same option. It’s also readily available and rather than a person going to a specialty photography studio to have these sort of edits done, it can be accomplished with a flick of the wrist. In addition, Instagram created different trends that prevail in other social media. For example, hashtag and tags on a photo were example of trends that helped people to connect by searching by similar interests. Also, selfie was a word that was introduced as a result of wide Instagram use.

When Instagram was introduced in 2010, the early adapters were successful companies dominating the niche market who recognized and developed the new social media. These businesses included Starbucks, Gucci, Red Bull, and Burberry who used Instagram as a way to brand themselves and sell products.

Instagram has an influence in the social, economic and cultural context. It essentially creates interest among viewers by capturing their attention through the use of higher quality and resolution pictures. Through similarity searches through hashtags and tags on photos and videos, you can develop social connection with users who have the similar interests. Instagram’s usage as online shops, branding, selling products and emerging advertising media, it encourages economic development. It is also used as a political movement and campaigns. In cultural context, it developed terms and trends that are widely used in other social media such as hashtag and selfies.

Although there are no strong enforcement or regulation on Instagram because it is a business based on re-shared content, it tries to ban photos that are inappropriate such as sexual services, selling and buying of illegal drugs and recreational drugs. There are buttons to report inappropriate content for the users to erase the content. Moreover, there are few regulations by the Instagram that they emphasize. They encourage to share only photos and videos that you’ve taken or have the right to share and post photos that are appropriate. However, other users such as “corpsman” continue to use nudity and violent and inappropriate images.