Since its inception in 2010, Instagram has come a long way from being merely an Exchange-agram rip off. (If you get that, we are going to be good friends.) In 7 short years, the social media network has turned from a seemingly simple photo-sharing app into a billion+ dollar behemoth, housing possibly the world’s most engaged audiences across the board. The evolution of Instagram, and especially Instagram ads and revenue is important for businesses of all types to understand. 

In fact, engagement rates for the platform are such that 80% of everyone on Instagram follow at least one business. And a whopping 60% have discovered a business or product they love using the platform. As Instagram ads get more intuitive, this number will definitely rise. 

[bctt tweet=”60% of Instagram users have learned about a product or service on the platform. ” username=”meetsoci“]

So how’d it get to where it is today? Luck? Right place, right time? The fact that its innovators probably knew from day-one what they were doing, up until the point M. Zuck saw the potential and acquired it?

Since we’re closing in on 2018, we’ll have to keep an eye on analysts predictions: Instagram was expected to rake in $4 billion in ad revenue in 2017 alone.

[bctt tweet=”Instagram is expected to rake in $4 billion in ad revenue in 2017 alone.” username=”meetsoci“]

We took a look at Instagram’s history and put together this comprehensive timeline infographic:

The Evolution of Instagram Ads

evolution of instagram ads

Share This On Your Site

Instagram’s history by the numbers:

  • 2010: Created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram is the first photo-only social platform.
  • December 12, 2010: Instagram has 1 million users.
  • April 9, 2012: The Acquisition. Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion dollars.
  • July 26, 2012: Instagram has 80 million users.
  • November 5, 2012: No longer just for mobile viewing. Instagram rolls our profiles for web browsers.
  • February 26, 2013: There are officially 100 million users on Instagram
  • June 20, 2013: Instagram is no longer a photo-only platform. Users can now create and post videos onto their profiles.
  • October 24, 2013: Instagram announces sponsored posts and videos.
  • March 4, 2015: Instagram introduces Carousel Ads to sponsored posts.
  • September 9, 2015: Instagram introduces small and large ad campaigns to their platform.
  • February 24, 2016: 200,000 advertisers on Instagram.
  • March 15, 2016: Say goodbye to chronological timelines. Instagram announces a new algorithm that optimizes the order of posts on user timelines.
  • May 19, 2016: Instagram adds video to Carousel ads.
  • August 2, 2016: Instagram introduces Stories–photos or videos that can be viewed by followers for 24 hours.
  • August 23, 2016: Businesses start using Instagram stories to promote products, sales, and behind-the-scenes fun.
  • September 22, 2016: Instagram has 500,000 monthly active advertisers.
  • November 10, 2016: Gif with the times. Instagram adds Boomerang integration.
  • November 11, 2016: Instagram announces vertical photo and videos ads.
  • January 11, 2017: Instagram announces platform insights for Stories. Businesses will be able to see reach, impressions, replies, and exits for each individual story.
  • February 22, 2017: Marketers can promote up to 10 photos or videos in one ad.
  • March 1, 2017: Instagram Stories ads now available for all businesses globally.
  • March 22, 2017: Instagram has 1 million monthly advertisers.
  • April 13, 2017: 200 million people are using Instagram Stories.
  • April 26, 2017: Instagram has 700 million users.
  • May 25, 2017: Instagram announces new objectives for Stories Ads. They include Video Views, Traffic, Conversions, and Mobile App Install.
  • July 26, 2017: Instagram announces 15 million business profiles.
  • September 25, 2017: Instagram has 2 million monthly advertisers.
  • September 26, 2017: There are 800 million users on Instagram.
  • October 3, 2017: Instagram introduces Polls into Stories

Ready to talk about incorporating Instagram into your social media strategy? With SOCi’s latest update, you can now publish to the world’s second largest social media platform all from one dashboard. Get a free audit today to see how you can either start or continue to build your business on Instagram!

Audit Button

Like what you see?
Sign up for more.