Instagram was launched in 2010 simply as a photo-sharing social media platform. It was mostly used for friends and family to connect with each other. Fast forward 10 years to 2020 and Instagram is now the main social media platform used by celebrities, businesses, organizations, still the same individuals from 2010, and more. Instagram has taken the main features of other social media networks and incorporated them into one sleek platform. Here’s how Instagram took over each one:
Pinterest is an app designed to allow you to explore various posts and save them into different folders called “boards.” It is really convenient for saving recipes, inspiring quotes, and DIY ideas. Boards are super inspirational and organized since you have all of your posts in one place. How did Instagram incorporate this? You can now save posts into different “collections” similar to Pinterest’s “boards.” Many Instagram posts have taken over the niche of Pinterest posts, so this feature serves as a convenient way to save and sort each post.
When Instagram became a platform that now included sharing videos, the time limit of each video was capped at 30 seconds. That was enough for short Flipagrams, maybe even a quick shopping haul, but nothing thorough. Due to the cap on time, many users would post a clip of their long video on Instagram and share the link to the full video on Youtube. With the recent IGTV feature, the need for Youtube in those scenarios has been eliminated. IGTV is a section on a user’s profile where long videos — up to an hour — can be shared. Bye-bye Youtube links.
Snapchat is almost a necessity for today’s teenagers. The app’s “story” feature is a super quick way to share photos or videos with friends that beats the tedious process of posting an Instagram picture, coming up with a caption … etc. Instagram created an almost identical feature where people can post stories, even ones with the fun filters that made Snapchat super popular. Now, Snapchat is still popular, but Instagram stories have been flourishing.
WhatsApp is a universal messaging system that functions well across different phone types (Apple users know the struggle when iMessages are green with Samsung people). Although this feature has been around for a few years already, Instagram battled this feature with their “Direct Messaging” or “DMs.” DMing is a great way to get in touch with friends, family, and companies. Even more recently, a video-call feature was created, battling WhatsApp even more.
As far as marketing for businesses goes, Instagram is an especially helpful tool. Stories are being used as free advertisements, polls are used to generate data, and “swipe up” features make for extremely simple online shopping.
By incorporating the best features of other social media apps, Instagram has become the premier media destination. Now, users need only go to one app for all their needs. Instagram has established a true social media monopoly.