From FYSE 1396: Digital Media Literacy
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Instagram is a social platform that allows people to share photos and videos with one another. The platform confines pictures to a square and allows users to put a filter on their photos. Once a picture is chosen to share, Instagram has many options for editing. It contains a sun icon that enhances the picture, a blur icon that allows users to focus on certain aspects of their picture, a border icon that allows users to put a border on their photos, and a tilt icon that allows users to straighten their photos. In addition to photos, a recent Instagram update now allows users to record a 15 second video. One the user is happy with the way their photo looks, they can add a description, tag people, and use hashtags to share their photos. Instagram is linked to other sites such as Twitter and Facebook so that photos posted on Instagram can also be shared on other sites.

Instagram is similar to Twitter in the way that you follow people and have followers. On the newsfeed, one can like photos by double taping the picture or clicking the heart icon below the picture. Users are also able to comment on photos and report them as inappropriate.

Instagram is becoming very popular worldwide and is on the rise.


Two men named Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger began Instagram development in San Francisco.[1] They both attended Stanford University and interned at large companies such as Odeo (which later became Twitter) and Microsoft.[2] Initially, Systrom worked on an app that allowed "location-aware photo and note-sharing" called Burbn.[3] Through this app, Systrom met Krieger who was very interested in design and development.[2] Together, the two limited Burbn to only photos and changed the name to Instagram.[3] "Our goal is to not just be a photo-sharing app, but to be the way you share your life when you're on the go," Systrom said.[3] In October of 2010, Instagram launched on Apple's App Store.[1] Within hours, Instagram already had over 10,000 users and within fifteen months, Instagram had over 30 million users.[4][3] Today, Instagram is one of the most popular social platforms on the web.[4] Along with Systrom and Krieger, Josh Riedel and Shayne Sweeney joined the Instagram team in 2010 as the Community Manager and Engineer respectively.[1] In 2011, Jessica Zollman joined the team as a Community Evangelist.[1] In September of 2011, Instagram 2.0 was released and in August of 2012, Instagram became available for Android.[1] In April of 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for 1 billion dollars in cash and stock. It was the largest acquisition in the history of social networks and will net Systrom 400 million dollars while Krieger will net 100 million dollars.[5] Since the company is so small, all Instagram employees will make very large sums of money due to this acquisition. A total of 13 employees will receive part of a 100 million dollar pool.[5] In response to this large transaction, Zuckerberg said, "This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.”[5]

Nancy Baym's Seven Key Concepts

In the book, Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Nancy Baym talks about seven key concepts that break down how media changes the way we interact. She says, "We need conceptual tools to differentiate media from one another and from face to face communication. We also need concepts to help us recognize the diversity amongst what may seem to be just one technology." In this quote, Baym explains why it is necessary to examine how media influences us in today's day and age. The seven concepts she introduces are: interactivity, temporal structure, social cues, storage, replicability, reach, and mobility.