Number of installations: 1B+
When it comes to popularity, few photographic applications can match the wide reach that Instagram has managed to achieve over the past 11 years of existence. Since its inception in October of 2010, it has attracted approximately a billion (yes with a b) users worldwide and is one of the most popular social networks on the planet.
While the platform might have originally been the domain of amateur photographers and keen snappers, it has since become a social media juggernaut that is frequented by professionals and enthusiasts alike, as well as countless businesses, celebrities and influencers.
With continued changes implemented throughout the years, it might be hard to fathom to some modern users that once upon a time you could only ever post square-formatted images, a nod to the nature of instant photography, namely Polaroid.
Today, Instagram provides tools for both audio and video manipulation, allowing users to post images and videos in both horizontal and vertical orientations, as well as numerous preset filters and tools.
When you install the application you’re greeted with a fairly minimal login screen that prompts you to enter your username or email address and password or to simply sign up. Thanks to parent company Facebook (or Meta, these days) you’re also able to log in via your Facebook account, if you have one.
Once inside the application, you’re provided with the following options:
As you can tell, today’s version is a far cry from the simplified original, where users can upload photographs and videos as part of their story (with a 24hour expiration) or choose to make video reels (up to 60 secs in length). The final option gives the user broadcasting powers in that it can, as the name suggests, start broadcasting live to all those that are following your account (and those that aren’t if your account happens to be public).
When it comes to photographic editing, Instagram has long had a number of staple filters with which users can boost the look of their images, starting originally with a mere seven and currently sitting at 23 in the latest iteration of the app.
Upon choosing the filter of choice (or not, as it is also popular these days #nofilter) there are additional features like:
It should be noted, that the same can be applied to video content also.
While the interface and integration are slick, there have been issues that we have come across. In the most recent iteration of the app, previously saved drafts seemingly disappeared altogether. Likewise, while users have the option to attach up to 10 photographs per post, we also observed that on occasion the application simply crashed when trying to progress to the next page. These problems were experienced across multiple devices.
- The robust interface
- Ease of use
- The expansive social network
- Cross-platform sharing of media
- Disappearing drafts
- Crashing when posting multiple images/videos
- Compression issues with story posts