Today Instagram is celebrating its 10th birthday (!!!). The app was originally launched under the name ‘Burbn’ and encouraged people to post photos of drinks, visit new bars with friends and check in at various drinking holes, but after the premise was deemed too complicated, the app’s founders decided to refocus on the platform’s photo-sharing element only. Thus, Instagram was born.
In the last 10 years, Instagram has amassed some 1 billion monthly users. More than 40 billion photos have been posted to the platform, and the Instagram offering has extended beyond mere photos to include Stories, Reels, music, polls, Boomerangs, and much more.
While we’re not entirely grateful for the impact Instagram has had on our bank balances (the Shopping update was both a blessing and a curse) and the time we may have mindlessly lost scrolling the feeds of influencers before they were bestowed that name, we are thankful for so much the app has given us over the years.
Here, we reflect on 10 gifts from Instagram’s first 10 years.
1. Endless fashion inspiration
Our wardrobes today are all but defined by the brands and influencers we follow on Instagram. Instagram has helped bring a number of small fashion businesses into our closets and has acted as a launchpad for unique new labels.
2. Real-time advice and tips
The ‘Ask Me a Question’ badge has not only allowed us a closer connection to those with a large following, but Q&As hosted by experts allow followers the opportunity to get real advice and tips from those whose word they respect most.
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Did you know, UV radiation accounts for less than 10% of the sun’s energy? There’s also infrared and visible light, both of which could make you feel warm (although they’re much less damaging, and incorporating antioxidants into your AM skincare will help offset any negative effects on skin) Heat in the skin doesn’t mean your sunscreen isn’t working – it could be… ☀️ Impaired barrier, ☀️ Not using enough sunscreen (apply at least 1/2 tsp for face neck and ears please) ☀️ The small amount of UV that does pass through sunscreen, ☀️ Maybe it’s just a warm day, ☀️ When did you last reapply? ☀️ Maybe your skin doesn’t like one of your skincare products (for me it’s usually a strong vitamin C serum 😅) ☀️ Rosacea, ☀️ A hangover (thank you @labmuffinbeautyscience ), This list is not exhaustive by any means but you get my drift – the point is not to worry too much ♥️♥️♥️. Also a huge fan of hats, sunglasses, covering up with clothing, even our masks (in addition to sunscreen, not in place of it)! What causes you to feel heat in your skin?
3. For the ability to help others
In response to global crises, a number of Instagram accounts will pop up on a mission to help. One close-to-home example comes by the way of the Spend with Them Instagram account. Launched amid Australia’s worst bushfire season, the account was dedicated to showcasing small businesses from bushfire-affected towns.
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Introducing @jennjohnstonceramics . Jenn creates elegant, functional handmade ceramics with a Japanese-inspired aesthetic out of her studio in Mullumbimby, NSW. Christmas is still a couple of months away but will be here before you can say "OH GOD HELP ME, I HAVEN'T DONE MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING YET." Or better yet, #spendwiththem and splurge on something unique for your fine self.
4. For news and information
According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, 62% of adults now get their news from social media. This study related to US users, but the way Aussies use Instagram is undoubtedly similar. While we love to follow inspiring accounts that delight us, we’re equally thankful to the ones that help inform us.
5. For an escape
Instagram can provide a blissful reprieve from the monotony or stresses in our day-to-day routines. From mesmerising 3D artists and escapist architects to image curators, you can be transported to just about anywhere if you know who to follow. Our suggestion? These artificial architects.
6. For the support networks
Instagram gives the gift of connection in many ways, though one of the most special ways the app connects people is by providing a platform for the discussion of common interests and issues. People find comfort in knowing others out there share the same obstacles they face, be these health-related or otherwise.
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“Thank you so much for making these, they have become a regular part of our play and sit in a drawer by our bed ready to use. We both enjoy rough D/S play, but I am quite small for my partner, so these allow us to fully relax into our dynamic without him being scared of hurting me or me tensing up. They're also so beautiful, we can leave them laying around the house and they look like little sculptures. I love the way they stack up to adjust the depth depending on how I'm feeling because my depth changes during my cycles. Overall an amazing product I think every girl should have <3” — A Real Life Ohnut User 💙 #OhnutConfessionals 📸 @mypelvicpain
7. Connecting with family and friends
No matter where they are in the world, and no matter the time difference, Instagram allows us to connect with friends and family from our screens. Throughout 2020 in particular, we’ve been thankful for the ability to easily share memes and moments of humour with our pals around the world. Not sure quite how we would have coped without it.
8. For discovering new artists and makers
Instagram presents endless opportunity to discover new artists, makers and creatives from around the world. When we find, follow and engage with artists, we directly help them to continue their creative craft.
9. For travel inspiration
Millennials today find their travel decisions are influenced largely by Instagram. It’s hardly surprising when you consider so many of us are following influencers who make a living from showcasing beautiful things in even more beautiful parts of the world.
Cities like New York and London have long been popular spots for tourists, but Instagram has helped alert people to lesser-known parts of the world, that have their own rich culture and experiences. Puglia, Cappadocia, Tokyo — one has to wonder if they’d be so popular without the Instagram pics that drive people to visit.
10. For the movements
In 2020, Instagram has united us in a number of global movements that call for positive and necessary change, both to the environment and the people. By following individual activists and accounts that bring together information and resources, Instagram users have found valuable connections that encourage them to do better, be better, and inspire a better world.