Instagram Steps Up Their Game

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As of March 2014, Instagram reached 200 million (active) users, making it 100 million users stronger than the previous year. But back in 2012 when Facebook made the decisive move to acquire Instagram for a whopping $1 billion dollars in the form of stocks & cash, techies around the world went a little crazy over the news. Although Instagram was promising to become a social media app in its own right, it had a mere 27 million users at that point and generated no source of revenue. And although Facebook shelled out a hefty sum, $735 million dollars to be precise rather than the initially believed $1 billion dollars, the social media behemoth still undervalued Instagram at that time, citing that they would be happy if the app reached 100 million users. Clearly, Instagram’s growth is a testament to the growing popularity of visual-based social media and proving that it truly is a social media platform in its own right. 

Instagram upgradeEarlier in the month, you would’ve noticed that your Instagram account got a nice little photo-editing-boost! On June 3rd, Instagram released Version 6.0 of their wildly successful app for iOS and Android users, boasting new creative tools allowing users to “adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth and more” for each of their photos. These much-needed modifications to Instagram come in the wake of higher quality photo editing apps, like Snapseed & VSCO Cam, which both offer much more intuitive and in-depth photo editing options and tend to draw users away from Instagram for photo editing purposes. It’s clearly a case of Instagram wanting to keep up with the Joneses and modify their app in order to streamline both photo-editing and posting and draw users back to their ‘one-stop-shop’. Here’s a tutorial on how to best optimize the new Instagram creative tools for your photos and if you’re finding the new editing options aren’t quite comparable to VSCO Cam, etc…Instagram is promising more options to follow.

On the plus side, Instagram has remained a free app, and all of the new updates are completely fee-free as well; however, do be prepared to start seeing sponsored advertisements in your Instagram feed later in the year. Facebook is beginning to capitalize off of Instagram’s growing user-base by introducing sponsored photos in American Instagram accounts and will continue to expand revenue by slowly introducing sponsored photos into Canadian, Australian, and British accounts.


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