Instagram is a free photo-sharing program and social network that was launched in October 2010. The service enables users to take a photo, apply a digital filter to it, and then share it with other Instagram users they are connected to on the social network as well as on a variety of social networking services. Instagram currently has 100 million registered users. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras.
Instagram was initially supported on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; in April 2012, the company added support for Android camera phones running 2.2 (Froyo) or higher. It is distributed via the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
In its largest acquisition deal to date, Facebook made an offer to purchase Instagram (with its 13 employees) for approximately $1 billion in cash and stock in April 2012, with plans to keep it independently managed. The Office of Fair Trading gave the deal the 'green light' on August 14, 2012, and on August 22, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States closed its investigation, allowing the deal to proceed. On September 6, 2012, the deal between Instagram and Facebook officially closed.
Instagram development began in San Francisco, when Kevin Systrom and the Brazilian Michel "Mike" Krieger chose to focus their multi-featured HTML5 check-in project Burbn on mobile photography.
On March 5, 2010, Systrom closed a $500,000 seed funding round from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz while working on Burbn. Josh Riedel joined the company as Community Manager. Shayne Sweeney joined in November 2010 as an engineer and Jessica Zollman was hired as a Community Evangelist in August 2011.
In January 2011, Instagram added hashtags to help users discover both photos and each other. Instagram encourages users to make tags both specific and relevant, rather than tagging generic words like 'photo' in order to make photos stand out and to attract like-minded Instagrammers. In September, version 2.0 went live in the App Store (iOS). It included new and live filters, instant tilt shift, high resolution photos, optional borders, one click rotation and an updated icon.
On February 2, 2011, it was announced that Instagram raised $7 million in Series A funding from a variety of investors, including Benchmark Capital, Jack Dorsey, Chris Sacca (through Capital fund), and Adam D'Angelo.The deal valued Instagram at around $25 million.
On April 3, 2012, Instagram for Android was released and it was downloaded more than one million times in less than one day. That same week, Instagram raised $50 million from venture capitalists for a share of the company that valued it at $500 million. In next three months Instagram was rated more than one million times on Google Play which was the fifth app ever to reach one million ratings on Google Play.
There are currently no plans to make the application available on the BlackBerry's current O.S. 7 devices, although it is probable that one will be available for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices. Current alternatives for BlackBerry 7 devices include InstaPhoto, LensBoost, and Photo Studio, two of which are available with various pricing.