It started with a dog pic. Instagram is celebrating its 10th birthday today—it made its debut Oct. 6, 2010—with this photo from co-founder Kevin Systrom.
After reaching the 1 million user mark in December of that year, Justin Bieber joined the platform in 2011, helping to pave the way for its transition into a place where celebrities and their fans could interact. Public figures found a way at that point to build a “direct relationship with their fans,” Instagram vice president of global partnerships Charles Porch said.
Kim Kardashian pushed that trend even further along when she joined Instagram in 2012, which also happened to be the same year that Facebook acquired Instagram in a $1 billion deal.
In 2013, Beyoncé surprise dropped her fifth studio album, self-titled, by announcing it on the platform. “It became normal to control the narrative, control the image and give things to fans first,” Porch said.
Noteworthy happenings on the platform in 2014 included Kardashian’s and Kanye West’s wedding photo becoming the most liked photo of the year, as well as the infamous Oscars selfie and Kardashian again with her cover for Paper magazine.
Bieber had one of the top Instagram moments of 2015 with his “What Do You Mean” countdown, where celebrities teased his upcoming album. The year also featured a noteworthy birth announcement on the platform, as Chrissy Teigen and John Legend introduced their daughter, Luna.
Black Tap Milkshakes took over Instagram in 2016, and other highlights that year included Alicia Keys kicking off the makeup-free movement with her Fault Magazine cover and Instagram’s introduction of an algorithm-generated feed as an alternative to its chronological feed.
The following year was highlighted by Beyoncé’s announcement that she was pregnant with twins, which was the most-liked photo of 2017, as well as Kylie Jenner’s Met Gala bathroom selfie.
Jenner took the title of most-liked Instagram photo of 2018 with the birth announcement for daughter Stormi.
Instagram then welcomed several noteworthy accounts in 2019: world_record_egg, Dude With Sign and Jennifer Aniston. “People all remember where they were when Jennifer Aniston joined Instagram and broke the platform,” Porch said of the latter.
So far, this year has been marked by an explosion in Instagram Live usage due to the pandemic, a surge in activity related to racial justice and Black Lives Matter and the run-up to the presidential election in the U.S.
On to the new
To commemorate its 10th birthday, Instagram is rolling out several new features and updates. A new Stories Archive map and calendar enables users to look back at all of the Stories they have shared over the last three years and share, download or save them to Highlights.
The platform also introduced two new features tied to National Bullying Prevention Month.
Additionally, Instagram is testing a new feature that automatically hides comments similar to others that have been reported, and users can tap “View Hidden Comments” to see them. Comments that violate the platform’s community guidelines will still be removed.
Last December, Instagram began using artificial intelligence to warn users who were about to post comments that might be considered offensive. An additional warning will now surface when people repeatedly attempt to post those comments.
Instagram will also share a visual timeline of its major milestones.