As Instagram’s popularity continues to grow we take a look at the growing trends of the platform and what is set to be 2021’s predominant user features. Instagram first launched in October 2010. Back then, the simple photo sharing website was run by a small team of software engineers experimenting with code in San Francisco, USA. Allegedly inspired by the first cave paintings, Instagram’s humble mission was to enable its users to share images of their daily experiences and bring more creativity into their individual lives. The first image shared on Instagram was a picture of a dog co-creator Kevin Systrom had encountered. The site founder has famously joked that if he’d known the significance of the picture he might have tried a little harder.
With the site currently boasting 112.5 million users in the USA alone, the popularity of the now global social media app is undeniable. The growth in app functions such as instant messaging and e-commerce have likened it even more to Facebook, which remains ever-dominant in our online social sphere. Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and has since faced criticism for its homogenising of the two social media platforms through features such as Stories.
Stories are one aspect of the site set to remain as a key function in 2021 according to Social Media Today. Other features that look set to increase their role in the site include the use of Instagram Reels, a short video sharing function that aims to put Instagram in direct competition with alternative social media platform TikTok. Likewise Instagram Live, which has seen growing usage in response to continuing coronavirus lockdown measures, is also expected to remain an integral part of the platform.
Elsewhere, e-commerce usage will grow on the site through continuing guidance from the site’s Explore function, and increased accessibility to buy products directly through the platform from sellers.