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Instagram
Instagram
is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc. It was created by Kevin Systrom
Kevin Systrom
and Mike Krieger, and launched in October 2010 exclusively on iOS. A version for Android devices was released two years later, in April 2012, followed by a feature-limited website interface in November 2012, and apps for Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 10 Mobile
and Windows 10
Windows 10
in April 2016 and October 2016 respectively. The app allows users to upload photos and videos to the service, which can be edited with various filters, and organized with tags and location information. An account's posts can be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers. Users can browse other users' content by tags and locations, and view trending content. Users can "like" photos, and follow other users to add their content to a feed. The service was originally distinguished by only allowing content to be framed in a square (1:1) aspect ratio, but these restrictions were eased in 2015. The service also added messaging features, the ability to include multiple images or videos in a single post, as well as "Stories"—similar to its main competitor Snapchat—which allows users to post photos and videos to a sequential feed, with each post accessible by others for 24 hours each. After its launch in 2010, Instagram
Instagram
rapidly gained popularity, with one million registered users in two months, 10 million in a year, and ultimately 800 million as of September 2017. In April 2012, Facebook
Facebook
acquired the service for approximately US$1 billion in cash and stock. As of October 2015[update], over 40 billion photos have been uploaded to the service. Although praised for its influence, Instagram
Instagram
has been the subject of criticism, most notably for policy and interface changes, allegations of censorship, and illegal or improper content uploaded by users.

Contents

1 History 2 Features and tools

2.1 Explore 2.2 Photographic filters 2.3 Video 2.4 Instagram
Instagram
Direct 2.5 Instagram
Instagram
Stories 2.6 Monetization 2.7 Stand-alone apps 2.8 Third-party services

3 User characteristics and behavior

3.1 Users

3.1.1 Demographics

3.2 User engagement 3.3 Trends

4 Controversy

4.1 Terms of Service policy change 4.2 Illicit drugs 4.3 Allegations of censorship 4.4 Hidden pornography 4.5 Timeline algorithm 4.6 Negative comments 4.7 Mental health 4.8 "Shadowban" 4.9 Algorithmic advertisement with rape threat 4.10 August 2017 hack

5 Awards 6 In popular culture 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

History

The login and sign-up screen for the Instagram
Instagram
app on the iPhone as of April 2016

Instagram
Instagram
began development in San Francisco, when Kevin Systrom
Kevin Systrom
and Mike Krieger chose to focus their multi-featured HTML5
HTML5
check-in project, Burbn, on mobile photography. As Krieger reasoned, Burbn became too similar to Foursquare, and both realized that it had gone too far. Burbn was then pivoted to become more focused on photo-sharing.[8][9] The word Instagram
Instagram
is a portmanteau of instant camera and telegram.[9] On March 5, 2010, Systrom closed a $500,000 seed funding round with Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz
Andreessen Horowitz
while working on Burbn.[10] Josh Riedel joined the company in October as Community Manager,[11] Shayne Sweeney joined in November as an engineer,[11] and Jessica Zollman joined as a Community Evangelist in August 2011.[11][12] Kevin Systrom
Kevin Systrom
posted the first photo to Instagram
Instagram
on July 16, 2010.[13][14] The photo shows a dog in Mexico and Systrom's girlfriend's foot; the photo has been enhanced using Instagram's X-PRO2 filter.[15] On October 6, 2010, the Instagram
Instagram
iOS app was officially released through the App Store.[16][17] In February 2011, it was reported that Instagram
Instagram
had raised $7 million in Series A funding from a variety of investors, including Benchmark Capital, Jack Dorsey, Chris Sacca
Chris Sacca
(through Capital fund), and Adam D'Angelo.[18] The deal valued Instagram
Instagram
at around $20 million.[19] On April 3, 2012, Instagram
Instagram
was released for Android phones,[20][21] and it was downloaded more than one million times in less than one day.[22] In March 2012, The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
reported that Instagram
Instagram
was raising a new round of financing that would value the company at $500 million,[23] details that were confirmed the following month, when Instagram
Instagram
raised $50 million from venture capitalists with a $500 million valuation.[24] The same month, Facebook bought Instagram
Instagram
for $1 billion in cash and stock,[25][26][27] with a plan to keep the company independently managed.[28][29][30] Britain's Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading
approved the deal on August 14, 2012,[31] and on August 22, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
in the U.S. closed its investigation, allowing the deal to proceed.[32] On September 6, 2012, the deal between Instagram
Instagram
and Facebook
Facebook
was officially closed.[33] The deal, which was made just prior to Facebook's scheduled IPO, cost about a quarter of Facebook's cash-on-hand, according to figures documented at the end of 2011.[30] The deal was for a company characterized as having "lots of buzz but no business model", and the price was contrasted with the $35 million Yahoo!
Yahoo!
paid for Flickr in 2005.[30] Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg
noted that Facebook
Facebook
was "committed to building and growing Instagram
Instagram
independently", in contrast to its past practices.[30] According to Wired, the deal netted Systrom $400 million based on his ownership stake in the business.[34] The exact purchase price was $300 million in cash and 23 million shares of stock.[35] In November 2012, Instagram
Instagram
launched website profiles, allowing anyone to see users' feeds from their web browsers. However, the website interface was limited in functionality, with notable omissions including the lack of a search bar, a news feed, and the ability to upload photos.[36] In February 2013, the website was updated to offer a news feed,[37] and in June 2015, the website was redesigned to offer bigger photos.[38][39] On October 22, 2013, during the Nokia
Nokia
World event held in Abu Dhabi, Systrom confirmed the upcoming release of the official Instagram
Instagram
app for Windows Phone,[40] after pressure from Nokia
Nokia
and the public to develop an app for the platform.[41][42] The app was released as a beta version on November 21, 2013, and was lacking the ability to record and upload video, though an Instagram
Instagram
spokesperson stated that "We're not finished, and our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram
Instagram
possible".[43][44] In April 2016, Instagram
Instagram
upgraded the app to Windows 10
Windows 10
Mobile, adding support for video and direct messages,[45] followed by later updates in October 2016 that extended the app to Windows 10
Windows 10
personal computers and tablets.[46][47] The Android app has received two major exclusive updates. The first, introduced in March 2014, cut the size of the app by half and added significant improvements to performance and responsiveness on a wide variety of Android devices.[48][49] The Verge
The Verge
wrote that the development team had tested the app on devices not for sale in the United States, particularly low-end models like Samsung Galaxy Y, in an effort to improve the app for its userbase located outside the U.S. Engineering manager Philip McAllister told The Verge
The Verge
that "More than 60 percent of our users are outside the US, and Android covers roughly half of total Instagram
Instagram
users".[50] The second update, introduced in April 2017, added an offline mode, in which content previously loaded in the news feed is available without an Internet connection, and users can comment, like, save media, and unfollow users, all of which will take effect once the user goes back online. At the time of the announcement, it was reported that 80% of Instagram's 600 million users are located outside the U.S., and while the aforementioned functionality was live at announcement, Instagram
Instagram
also announced its intention to make more features available offline "in the following months", and that they were "exploring an iOS version".[51][52][53] Since the app's launch it had used the Foursquare
Foursquare
API technology to provide named location tagging. In March 2014, Instagram
Instagram
started testing switching the technology to using Facebook
Facebook
Places.[54][55] Announced in March 2016 and taking place in June, Instagram
Instagram
switched from a strictly chronological oldest-to-newest news feed to a new, algorithm-based feed. The change received "widespread outcry" following Instagram's March announcement, but Instagram
Instagram
stated that the feature would help users discover lost posts, writing that "You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram
Instagram
has grown, it's become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don't see the posts you might care about the most. To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most."[56][57][58] On May 11, 2016, Instagram
Instagram
revamped its design, adding a black-and-white theme for the app and a more abstract, "modern" and colorful icon.[59][60][61] Rumors of a redesign first started circulating in April, when The Verge
The Verge
received a screenshot from a tipster, but at the time, an Instagram
Instagram
spokesperson simply told the publication that "This is a design test only".[62] Features and tools

An original photograph (left) is automatically cropped to a square by Instagram, and has a filter added at the selection of the user (right)

Users can upload photographs and short videos, follow other users' feeds,[63] and geotag images with the name of a location.[64] Users can set their account as "private", thereby requiring that they approve any new follower requests.[65] Users can connect their Instagram
Instagram
account to other social networking sites, enabling them to share uploaded photos to those sites.[66] In January 2011, Instagram introduced hashtags to help users discover both photos and each other.[67][68] Instagram
Instagram
encourages users to make tags both specific and relevant, rather than tagging generic words like "photo", to make photographs stand out and to attract like-minded Instagram
Instagram
users.[69] In September 2011, a new version of the app included new and live filters, instant tilt–shift, high-resolution photographs, optional borders, one-click rotation, and an updated icon.[70][71] In August 2015, Instagram
Instagram
started allowing users to upload full-size landscape and portrait photos and videos onto the service, dropping the previous requirement of a square frame.[72][73][74] In August 2016, Instagram added a zoom feature that allows users to pinch-to-zoom the screen to virtually zoom in on photos and videos.[75][76] In September 2016, Instagram
Instagram
removed Photo Maps, which previously allowed users to see a map of their geotagged photos. An Instagram
Instagram
spokesperson stated that "Photo Map was not widely used, so we've decided to remove the feature and focus on other priorities".[77][78] In December 2016, Instagram introduced a feature letting users save photos for later viewing. Bookmarked posts get added to a private page in the app.[79][80] The feature was updated in April 2017 to let users organize saved posts into different collections.[81][82] In February 2017, Instagram
Instagram
announced that users would be able to upload up to ten pictures or videos to one post, with the content appearing as a swipeable carousel.[83][84] The feature originally limited photos to the square format, but received an update in August to enable portrait and landscape photos instead.[85][86] In May, Instagram
Instagram
updated its mobile website to allow users to upload photos, and to add a "lightweight" version of the Explore tab.[87][88] Later in May, Instagram
Instagram
added an "Archive" feature, letting users hide posts in a private storage area, out of visibility for the public and other users. The move was seen as a way to prevent users from deleting photos that don't garner a desired number of "likes" or are deemed boring, but also as a way to limit the "emergent behavior" of deleting photos, which deprives the service of content.[89][90] In August, Instagram
Instagram
announced that it would start organizing comments into threads, letting users more easily interact with replies.[91][92] Explore In June 2012, Instagram
Instagram
introduced "Explore", a tab inside the app that displays popular photos, photos taken at nearby locations, and search.[93] The tab was updated in June 2015 to feature trending tags and places, curated content, and the ability to search for locations.[94] In April 2016, Instagram
Instagram
added a "Videos You Might Like" channel to the tab,[95][96] followed by an "Events" channel in August, featuring videos from concerts, sports games, and other live events,[97][98] followed by the addition of Instagram
Instagram
Stories in October.[99][100] The tab was later expanded again in November 2016 after Instagram
Instagram
Live launched to display an algorithmically-curated page of the "best" Instagram
Instagram
Live videos currently airing.[101] In May 2017, Instagram
Instagram
once again updated the Explore tab to promote public Stories content from nearby places.[102] Photographic filters

A photo collage of an unprocessed image (top left) modified with the 16 different Instagram
Instagram
filters available in 2011

Instagram
Instagram
offers a number of photographic filters that users can apply to their images:

Normal: No filter applied. 1977: The increased exposure with a red tint gives the photograph a rosy, brighter, faded look. Amaro: Adds light to an image, with the focus on the centre.[103] Brannan: Increases contrast and exposure and adds a metallic tint. Earlybird: Gives photographs an older look with a sepia tint and warm temperature. Hefe: High contrast and saturation, with a similar effect to Lo-Fi but not quite as dramatic. Hudson: Creates an "icy" illusion with heightened shadows, cool tint and dodged center.[104] Inkwell: Direct shift to black and white – no extra editing. Kelvin: Increases saturation and temperature to give it a radiant "glow".[105] Lo-fi: Enriches color and adds strong shadows through the use of saturation and "warming" the temperature. Mayfair: Applies a warm pink tone, subtle vignetting to brighten the photograph center and a thin black border[106] Nashville: Warms the temperature, lowers contrast and increases exposure to give a light "pink" tint – making it feel "nostalgic". Rise: Adds a "glow" to the image, with softer lighting of the subject. Sierra: Gives a faded, softer look. Sutro: Burns photo edges, increases highlights and shadows dramatically with a focus on purple and brown colors. Toaster: Ages the image by "burning" the centre and adds a dramatic vignette. Valencia: Fades the image by increasing exposure and warming the colors, to give it an antique feel Walden: Increases exposure and adds a yellow tint. Willow: A monochromatic filter with subtle purple tones and a translucent white border.[107] X-Pro II: Increases color vibrancy with a golden tint, high contrast and slight vignette added to the edges. Slumber: Desaturates the image as well as adds haze for a retro, dreamy look – with an emphasis on blacks and blues. Cream: Adds a creamy look that both warms and cools the image. Ludwig: A slight hint of desaturation that also enhances light. Aden: This filter gives a blue/green natural look. Perpetua: Adding a pastel look, this filter is ideal for portraits.[108][109] Clarendon: Intensifies shadows and brightens highlights. Originally released as a video-only filter. Gingham: Washes photos out. Gives a yellowish tone when used on dark photos or a brighter, dreamy look when used on light photos. Moon: Black and white version of Gingham, with slightly more intense shadows. Stinson: Subtle filter that brightens an image, washing out the colors slightly Crema: Vintage filter that desaturates images. Smooths and washes out skin tones.[110] Lark: Desaturates reds while punching up blues and greens – brings landscapes to life. Reyes: Gives photos a dusty, vintage look. Juno: Tints cool tones green, makes warm tones pop and whites glow – for vibrant photos of people.[111]

In February 2012, Instagram
Instagram
added a "Lux" filter, an effect that "lightens shadows, darkens highlights and increases contrast".[112][113] In December 2014, Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua were five new filters to be added to the Instagram
Instagram
filter family.[114] Video Initially a purely photo-sharing service, Instagram
Instagram
incorporated 15-second video sharing in June 2013.[115][116] The addition was seen by some in the technology media as Facebook's attempt at competing with then-popular video-sharing application Vine.[117][118] In August 2015, Instagram
Instagram
added support for widescreen videos.[119][120] In March 2016, Instagram
Instagram
increased the 15-second video limit to 60 seconds.[121][122] Multi-video posts were introduced in February 2017, allowing up to 10 minutes of video to be shared in one post.[83][84] Instagram
Instagram
Direct In December 2013, Instagram
Instagram
announced Instagram
Instagram
Direct, a feature that lets users interact through private messaging. Users who follow each other can send private messages with photos and videos, in contrast to the public-only requirement that was previously in place. When users receive a private message from someone they don't follow, the message is marked as pending and the user must accept to see it. Users can send a photo to a maximum of 15 people.[123][124][125] The feature received a major update in September 2015, adding conversation threading and making it possible for users to share locations, hashtag pages, and profiles through private messages directly from the news feed. Additionally, users can now reply to private messages with text, emoji or by clicking on a heart icon. A camera inside Direct lets users take a photo and send it to the recipient without leaving the conversation.[126][127][128] A new update in November 2016 let users make their private messages "disappear" after being viewed by the recipient, with the sender receiving a notification if the recipient takes a screenshot.[129][130] In April 2017, Instagram
Instagram
redesigned Direct to combine all private messages, both permanent and ephemeral, into the same message threads.[131][132][133] In May, Instagram
Instagram
made it possible to send website links in messages, and also added support for sending photos in their original portrait or landscape orientation without cropping.[134][135] Instagram
Instagram
Stories In August 2016, Instagram
Instagram
launched Instagram
Instagram
Stories, a feature that allows users to take photos, add effects and layers, and add them to their Instagram
Instagram
story. Images uploaded to a user's story expire after 24 hours. The media noted the feature's similarities to Snapchat.[136][137] In November, Instagram
Instagram
added live video functionality to Instagram
Instagram
Stories, allowing users to broadcast themselves live, with the video disappearing immediately after ending.[138][101] In January 2017, Instagram
Instagram
launched skippable ads, where five-second photo and 15-second video ads appear in-between different stories.[139][140] In April 2017, Instagram
Instagram
Stories incorporated augmented reality stickers, a "clone" of Snapchat's functionality.[141][142][143] In May 2017, Instagram
Instagram
expanded the augmented reality sticker feature to support face filters, letting users add specific visual features onto their faces.[144][145] Later in May, TechCrunch
TechCrunch
reported about tests of a Location Stories feature in Instagram
Instagram
Stories, where public Stories content at a certain location are compiled and displayed on a business, landmark or place's Instagram
Instagram
page.[146] A few days later, Instagram
Instagram
announced "Story Search", in which users can search for geographic locations or hashtags and the app displays relevant public Stories content featuring the search term.[102][147] In June 2017, Instagram
Instagram
revised its live-video functionality to allow users to add their live broadcast to their story for availability in the next 24 hours, or discard the broadcast immediately.[148] In July, Instagram
Instagram
started allowing users to respond to Stories content by sending photos and videos, complete with Instagram
Instagram
effects such as filters, stickers, and hashtags.[149][150] Stories were made available for viewing on Instagram's mobile and desktop websites in late August 2017.[151][152] In response to criticism that it copied functionality from Snapchat, CEO Kevin Systrom
Kevin Systrom
told Recode
Recode
that "Day One: Instagram
Instagram
was a combination of Hipstamatic, Twitter
Twitter
[and] some stuff from Facebook like the 'Like' button. You can trace the roots of every feature anyone has in their app, somewhere in the history of technology". Although Systrom acknowledged the criticism as "fair", Recode
Recode
wrote that "he likened the two social apps' common features to the auto industry: Multiple car companies can coexist, with enough differences among them that they serve different consumer audiences". Systrom further stated that "When we adopted [Stories], we decided that one of the really annoying things about the format is that it just kept going and you couldn't pause it to look at something, you couldn't rewind. We did all that, we implemented that." He also told the publication that Snapchat
Snapchat
"didn't have filters, originally. They adopted filters because Instagram
Instagram
had filters and a lot of others were trying to adopt filters as well."[153][154] Monetization Following Emily White's appointment to the position of Director of Business Operations in April 2013,[155][156] she stated in an interview with The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
in September 2013 that the company should be ready to begin selling advertising by September 2014 as a way to generate business from a popular entity that had not yet created profit for its parent company.[157] White left Instagram, however, in December 2013, to join Snapchat.[158][159] In August 2014, James Quarles was hired as Instagram's Global Head of Business and Brand Development, a new position within the company focused on overseeing advertisement and sales efforts while developing new "monetization products", according to a spokesperson.[160] In October 2013, Instagram
Instagram
began its monetization efforts, announcing that, "over the next couple of months", video and image ads would start appearing in between users' photos in the news feed for users in the United States.[161][162] A sample ad from Instagram, featuring the text "Sponsored" at the top right of the image, was the first to be released, with a limited number of brands being allowed to advertise in the early stages.[163][164] Image advertisements officially started appearing in feeds starting November 1, 2013,[165][166] followed by video ads on October 30, 2014.[167][168] In June 2014, Instagram announced the then-upcoming rollout of ads in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, planned for "later this year".[169] The same sample ad from Instagram's launch in the U.S. was shown to users in the United Kingdom in September 2014, with ads rolling out "over the coming weeks".[170] In March 2015, it announced that it would allow advertisers to buy "carousel ads", a way for brands to upload up to five images that users can swipe through, with options at the end for additional content or a visit to the brand's website.[171][172] Following strong performance of the ad format, Instagram
Instagram
opened up a self-service feature for brands to buy carousel ads the following October,[173][174] and in March 2016, it started allowing video in carousel ads.[175] In May 2016, Instagram
Instagram
announced the launch of new tools for business accounts, including new business profiles, Insights analytics and the ability to turn posts into ads directly from the Instagram
Instagram
app itself. However, to be eligible for the tools, businesses had to have a Facebook
Facebook
Page, with Quarles stating: "In doing that, it gives us the payment credentials, as well as if they want to prepopulate some of the information like their street address, the phone number, and the website".[176] The Instagram
Instagram
Insights panel, which lets businesses see their top posts, reach, impressions and engagement surrounding their posts as well as user demographics,[176] was rolled out first to the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, with the rest of the world "by the end of the year".[177][176][178] In February 2016, Instagram
Instagram
announced that it had 200,000 advertisers on the platform.[179] This increased to 500,000 active advertisers in September 2016,[180] and one million in March 2017.[181][182] Stand-alone apps Instagram
Instagram
has developed and released three stand-alone apps with specialized functionality. In July 2014, it released Bolt, a messaging app where users click on a friend's profile photo to quickly send an image, with the content disappearing after being seen.[183][184] It was followed by the release of Hyperlapse in August, a then-iOS-exclusive app that uses "clever algorithm processing" to create tracking shots and fast time-lapse videos.[185][186] Hyperlapse launched on Android and Windows in May 2015.[187] In October 2015, it released Boomerang, a video app that combines photos into short, one-second videos that play back-and-forth in a loop.[188][189] Third-party services The popularity of Instagram
Instagram
has led to a variety of third-party services using its functionality and adopting it into formats not officially supported. Examples include services for getting an overview of user statistics, printing photos at social events, turning a large number of photos into thumbnails for a physical book or a large poster, and dedicated apps for viewing Instagram
Instagram
on Mac personal computers.[190] User characteristics and behavior

The Instagram
Instagram
app, running on the Android operating system.

Users See also: List of most followed users on Instagram Following the release in October, Instagram
Instagram
had one million registered users in December 2010.[191][192] In June 2011, it announced that it had 5 million users,[193] which increased to 10 million in September.[194][195] This growth continued to 30 million users in April 2012,[194][20] 80 million in July 2012,[196][197] 100 million in February 2013,[198][199] 130 million in June 2013,[200] 150 million in September 2013,[201][202] 300 million in December 2014,[203][204] 400 million in September 2015,[205][206] 500 million in June 2016,[207][208] 600 million in December 2016,[209][210] 700 million in April 2017,[211][212] and 800 million in September 2017.[213][214] In October 2016, Instagram
Instagram
Stories reached 100 million active users, two months after launch.[215][216] This increased to 150 million in January 2017,[139][140] 200 million in April, surpassing Snapchat's user growth,[141][142][143] and 250 million active users in June 2017.[217][148] In April 2017, Instagram
Instagram
Direct had 375 million monthly users.[131][132][133] In June 2011, Instagram
Instagram
passed 100 million photos uploaded to the service.[218][219] This grew to 150 million in August 2011,[220][221] and by June 2013, there were over 16 billion photos on the service.[200] In October 2015, there existed over 40 billion photos.[222] On August 9, 2012, English musician Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding
released a new music video for her song "Anything Could Happen." The video only contained fan-submitted Instagram
Instagram
photographs that used various filters to represent words or lyrics from the song, and over 1,200 different photographs were submitted.[223] Instagram
Instagram
was listed among Time's "50 Best Android Applications for 2013" list.[224] Instagram
Instagram
has 20 million users in Iran.[225][226] Demographics Instagram's users are divided equally with 50% iPhone owners and 50% Android owners. While Instagram
Instagram
has a neutral gender-bias format, 68% of Instagram
Instagram
users are female while 32% are male. Instagram's geographical use is shown to favor urban areas as 17% of US adults who live in urban areas use Instagram
Instagram
while only 11% of adults in suburban and rural areas do so. While Instagram
Instagram
may appear to be one of the most widely used sites for photo sharing, only 7% of daily photo uploads, among the top four photo-sharing platforms, come from Instagram. Instagram
Instagram
has been proven to attract the younger generation with 90% of the 150 million users under the age of 35. From June 2012 to June 2013, Instagram
Instagram
approximately doubled their number of users. As regards income, 15% of US Internet users who make less than $30,000 per year use Instagram, while 14% of those making $30,000 to $50,000, and 12% of users who make more than $50,000 per year do so.[227] With respect to the education demographic, respondents with some college education proved to be the most active on Instagram
Instagram
with 23%. Following behind, college graduates consist of 18% and users with a high school diploma or less make up 15%. Among these Instagram
Instagram
users, 24% say they use the app several times a day.[228] User engagement Ongoing research continues to explore how media content on the platform affects user engagement. Past research has found that media which show peoples’ faces receive more ‘likes’ and comments and that using filters that increase warmth, exposure, and contrast also boosts engagement.[229] Users are more likely to engage with images that depict fewer individuals compared to groups and also are more likely to engage with content that has not been watermarked, as they view this content as less original and reliable compared to user-generated content.[230] Trends Users on Instagram
Instagram
have created "trends" through hashtags, which are specific keywords combined with a hash symbol that lets them share content with other Instagram
Instagram
users. The trends deemed the most popular on the platform often highlight a specific day of the week to post the material on. Examples of popular trends include #SelfieSunday, in which users post a photo of their faces on Sundays; #MotivationMonday, in which users post motivational photos on Mondays; #TransformationTuesday, in which users post photos highlighting differences from the past to the present; #WomanCrushWednesday, in which users post photos of women they have a romantic interest in or view favorably, as well as its #ManCrushMonday counterpart centered on men; and #ThrowbackThursday, in which users post a photo from their past, highlighting a particular moment.[231][232] In December 2017, The Verge
The Verge
reported that Instagram
Instagram
would let users press "Follow" on a hashtag, thereby seeing relevant highlights of the topic in their feeds.[233][234] Controversy Terms of Service policy change On December 17, 2012, Instagram
Instagram
announced a change to its Terms of Service policy, adding the following sentence:[235]

“ To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you. ”

There was no option for users to opt out of the changed Terms of Service without deleting their accounts before the new policy went into effect on January 16, 2013.[236] The move garnered severe criticism from users,[237][238][239] prompting Instagram
Instagram
CEO Kevin Systrom to write a blog post one day later, announcing that they would "remove" the offending language from the policy. Citing misinterpretations about its intention to "communicate that we'd like to experiment with innovative advertising that feels appropriate on Instagram", Systrom also stated that it was "our mistake that this language is confusing" and that "it is not our intention to sell your photos". Furthermore, he wrote that they would work on "updated language in the terms to make sure this is clear".[240][237] The policy change and its backlash caused competing photo services to use the opportunity to "try to lure users away" by advertising their privacy-friendly services,[241] and some services experienced substantial gains in momentum and user growth following the news.[242] On December 20, Instagram
Instagram
announced that the advertising section of the policy would be reverted to its original October 2010 version.[238][243] The Verge
The Verge
wrote about that policy as well, however, noting that the original policy gives the company right to "place such advertising and promotions on the Instagram
Instagram
Services or on, about, or in conjunction with your Content", meaning that " Instagram
Instagram
has always had the right to use your photos in ads, almost any way it wants. We could have had the exact same freakout last week, or a year ago, or the day Instagram
Instagram
launched".[235] The policy update also introduced an arbitration clause, which remained even after the language pertaining to advertising and user content had been modified.[244] Illicit drugs Instagram
Instagram
has been the subject of criticism due to users publishing images of drugs they are selling on the platform. In 2013, the BBC discovered that users, mostly located in the United States, were posting images of drugs they were selling, attaching specific hashtags, and then completing transactions via instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp. Corresponding hashtags have been blocked as part of the company's response and a spokesperson engaged with the BBC
BBC
explained:[245][246]

Instagram
Instagram
has a clear set of rules about what is and isn't allowed on the site. We encourage people who come across illegal or inappropriate content to report it to us using the built-in reporting tools next to every photo, video or comment, so we can take action. People can't buy things on Instagram, we are simply a place where people share photos and videos.

However, new incidents of illegal drug trade have occurred in the aftermath of the 2013 revelation, with Facebook, Instagram's parent company, asking users who come across such content to report the material, at which time a "dedicated team" reviews the information.[247] Allegations of censorship In October 2013, Instagram
Instagram
deleted the account of Canadian photographer Petra Collins after she posted a photo of herself in which a very small area of pubic hair was visible above the top of her bikini bottom. Collins claimed that the account deletion was unfounded because it did not break any of Instagram's terms and conditions.[248] Audra Schroeder of The Daily Dot
The Daily Dot
further wrote that "Instagram's terms of use state users can't post "pornographic or sexually suggestive photos," but who actually gets to decide that? You can indeed find more sexually suggestive photos on the site than Collins', where women show the side of "femininity" the world is "used to" seeing and accepting."[249] Nick Drewe of The Daily Beast wrote a report the same month focusing on hashtags that users are unable to search for, including #sex, #bubblebutt, and #ballsack, despite allowing #faketits, #gunsforsale and #sexytimes, calling the discrepancy "nonsensical and inconsistent".[250] Similar incidents occurred in January 2015, when Instagram
Instagram
deleted Australian fashion agency Sticks and Stones Agency's account because of a photograph including pubic hair sticking out of bikini bottoms,[251] and March 2015, when artist and poet Rupi Kaur's photos of menstrual blood on clothing were removed, prompting a rallying post on her Facebook
Facebook
and Tumblr
Tumblr
accounts with the text "We will not be censored", gaining over 11,000 shares.[252] The incidents have led to a #FreetheNipple campaign, aimed at challenging Instagram's removal of photos displaying women's nipples. Although Instagram
Instagram
has not made many comments on the campaign,[253] an October 2015 explanation from CEO Kevin Systrom
Kevin Systrom
highlighted Apple's content guidelines for apps published through its App Store, including Instagram, in which apps must designate the appropriate age ranking for users, with the app's current rating being 12+ years of age. However, this statement has also been called into question due to other apps with more explicit content allowed on the store, the lack of consequences for men exposing their bodies on Instagram, and for inconsistent treatment of what constitutes inappropriate exposure of the female body.[254][255] Hidden pornography In March 2016, Daily Star reported that a blogger had discovered "one million" explicit pornography films on Instagram. Users uploading such content, which violates Instagram's community guidelines, avoid detection by using Arabic hashtags.[256] A company spokesperson told The Sun that "We have zero tolerance for pornographic content. We invest in extensive controls, easy reporting and the best available technology to flag and swiftly remove violating content and accounts."[257] Timeline algorithm In April 2016, Instagram
Instagram
began rolling out a change to the order of photos visible in a user's timeline, shifting from a strictly chronological order to one determined by an algorithm.[258] Instagram said the algorithm was designed so that users would see more of the photos by users that they liked,[57] but there was significant negative feedback, with many users asking their followers to turn on post notifications in order to make sure they see updates.[259][260][261] The company wrote a tweet to users upset at the prospect of the change, but did not back down,[262] nor provide a way to change it back.[263] Negative comments In response to abusive and negative comments on users' photos, Instagram
Instagram
has made efforts to give users more control over their posts and accompanying comments field. In July 2016, it announced that users would be able to turn off comments for their posts, as well as control the language used in comments by inputting words they consider offensive, which will ban applicable comments from showing up.[264][265] After the July 2016 announcement, the ability to ban specific words began rolling out early August to celebrities,[266] followed by regular users in September.[267] In December, the company began rolling out the abilities for users to turn off the comments and, for private accounts, remove followers.[268][269] In June 2017, Instagram
Instagram
announced an artificial intelligence system capable of scanning words in context to detect, and remove, abusive comments.[270][271] In September 2017, the company announced that public users would be able to limit who can comment on their content, such as only their followers or people they follow. At the same time, it updated its automated comment filter to support additional languages.[272][273] Mental health In May 2017, a survey conducted by United Kingdom's Royal Society for Public Health, featuring 1,479 people aged 14–24, asking them to rate social media platforms depending on anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image, concluded that Instagram
Instagram
was "worst for young mental health". In response, Instagram
Instagram
stated that "Keeping Instagram
Instagram
a safe and supportive place for young people was a top priority".[274][275] In 2017, researchers from Harvard University
Harvard University
and University of Vermont demonstrated a machine-learning tool that successfully outperformed general practitioners' diagnostic success rate for depression. The tool used color analysis, metadata components, and face-detection of users feeds.[276] "Shadowban" In mid-2017, reports surfaced that Instagram
Instagram
had begun efforts to reduce the prominence of accounts using many irrelevant hashtags to increase their respective reach on the social network and users who pay money to a service in order to receive a high amount of post engagement. Known as "shadowbanning", the effort hides applicable accounts from appearing in search results and in the app's Explore section. In a now-deleted Facebook
Facebook
post, Instagram
Instagram
wrote that "When developing content, we recommend focusing on your business objective or goal rather than hashtags".[277][278] Algorithmic advertisement with rape threat In 2016, Olivia Solon, a reporter for The Guardian, posted a screenshot to her Instagram
Instagram
profile of an email she had received containing threats of rape and murder towards her. The photo post had received three likes and countless comments, and in September 2017, the company's algorithms turned the photo into an advertisement visible to Solon's sister. An Instagram
Instagram
spokesperson apologized and told The Guardian
The Guardian
that "We are sorry this happened – it’s not the experience we want someone to have. This notification post was surfaced as part of an effort to encourage engagement on Instagram. Posts are generally received by a small percentage of a person’s Facebook
Facebook
friends". As noted by the technology media, the incident occurred at the same time parent company Facebook
Facebook
was under scrutiny for its algorithms and advertising campaigns being used for offensive and negative purposes.[279][280] August 2017 hack In August 2017, reports surfaced that a bug in Instagram's developer tools had allowed "one or more individuals" to gain access to the contact information, specifically email addresses and phone numbers, of several high-profile verified accounts, including its most followed user, Selena Gomez. The company said in a statement that it had "fixed the bug swiftly" and was running an investigation.[281][282] However, the following month, more details emerged, with a group of hackers selling contact information online, with the affected number of accounts in the "millions" rather than the previously-assumed limitation on verified accounts. Hours after the hack, a searchable database was posted online, charging $10 per search.[283] The Daily Beast was provided with a sample of the affected accounts, and could confirm that, while many of the email addresses could be found with a Google
Google
search in public sources, some did not return relevant Google search results and thus were from private sources.[284] The Verge wrote that cybersecurity firm RepKnight had found contact information for multiple actors, musicians, and athletes,[283] and singer Selena Gomez's account was used by the hackers to post naked photos of her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. The company admitted that "we cannot determine which specific accounts may have been impacted", but believed that "it was a low percentage of Instagram
Instagram
accounts", though TechCrunch
TechCrunch
stated in its report that six million accounts were affected by the hack, and that " Instagram
Instagram
services more than 700 million accounts; six million is not a small number".[285] Awards Instagram
Instagram
was the runner-up for "Best Mobile App" at the 2010 TechCrunch
TechCrunch
Crunchies in January 2011.[286] In May 2011, Fast Company listed CEO Kevin Systrom
Kevin Systrom
at number 66 in "The 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2011".[287] In June 2011, Inc. included co-founders Systrom and Krieger in its 2011 "30 Under 30" list.[288] Instagram
Instagram
won "Best Locally Made App" in the SF Weekly
SF Weekly
Web Awards in September 2011.[289] 7x7Magazine's September 2011 issue featured Systrom and Krieger on the cover of their "The Hot 20 2011" issue.[290] In December 2011, Apple Inc.
Apple Inc.
named Instagram
Instagram
the "App of the Year" for 2011.[291] In 2015, Instagram
Instagram
was named No. 1 by Mashable
Mashable
on its list of "The 100 best iPhone apps of all time," noting Instagram
Instagram
as "one of the most influential social networks in the world."[292] In popular culture

Instagram
Instagram
model: a term for models who gain their success as a result of the large number of followers they have on Instagram. Instagram
Instagram
Pier: a cargo working area in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
that gained its nickname due to the popularity on Instagram.

See also

Hyperlapse Dronestagram GifBoom Pheed Pixnet Timeline of social media

References

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Creative Labs

Related

Priscilla Chan (wife of Mark Zuckerberg) Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Aquila Internet relay drone Willow Village

v t e

Social networking services

Websites

Personal

23snaps Amikumu aNobii AsianAve ASKfm Badoo Bebo Cloob Cyworld Diaspora Draugiem.lv Ello Facebook Foursquare Gab Google+ Hello Hi5 Highlight Idka Instagram Keek LiveJournal Lifeknot LockerDome Marco Polo Mastodon MeetMe Miaopai micro.blog MixBit Mixi Musical.ly Myspace Nasza-klasa.pl Nextdoor OK.ru Path Peach Periscope Pinterest Pixnet Qzone Readgeek Renren Sina Weibo Slidely Snapchat SNOW Spaces Spring.me Streetlife StudiVZ Swarm Tagged Taringa! tbh Tea Party Community Tinder Tout Tuenti TV Time Tumblr Twitter Untappd VK Whisper Xanga Yo

Professional

Academia.edu Brainly BranchOut Edmodo IBM Connections LinkedIn Moodle ResearchGate Sciencescape
Sciencescape
(Metaα) Solaborate Viadeo XING IdeaPlane Yammer

Defunct

App.net Avatars United Bolt Capazoo eConozco Emojli FitFinder Formspring FriendFeed Friends Reunited Friendster Grono.net Google
Google
Buzz Heello Hyves iTunes Ping iWiW Jaiku LunarStorm Me2day Meerkat Mobli Mugshot Natter Social Network Netlog Orkut Pheed Piczo PlanetAll Posterous Pownce Qaiku SixDegrees.com So.cl Surfbook Tribe.net Tsū tvtag Vine Windows Live Spaces Wretch Yahoo!
Yahoo!
360° Yahoo!
Yahoo!
Kickstart Yahoo!
Yahoo!
Mash Yahoo!
Yahoo!
Meme Yik Yak

White-label services

Ning Wall.fm

Tools

Social network
Social network
analysis software Diaspora (software) Web 2.0 Suicide Machine

General

Comparison of software Online identity User profile Virtual community 1+ million users 100+ million users

Applications

Social network
Social network
advertising Social network
Social network
hosting service Online dating service
Online dating service
(comparison) Mobile

User interface

Activity stream Brand page Like button Hashtag Groups Reblogging Polling Internet petitions

Implications

Privacy issues User gender difference Use in investigations

Related concepts

Small-world experiment Small-world network Social network Cybersectarianism Panopticon

Protocols

Micropub Webmention

Defunct

Distributed Social Networking Protocol OpenSocial

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 298871143

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