Hundreds of new apps are launched every day. Some, if they’re lucky, will grow to a few hundred or thousand users. Most don’t gain any traction at all. But once in a while, a product comes along and just nails it, launching at the right time, in the right place, to the right market. Instagram was one of those apps.


The photo-sharing network is not only celebrating its seventh birthday this year, it has reached over 800 million users. When Instagram was first launched, it wasn’t the only app on the market that allowed users to upload pictures with a filter and a hashtag. At first, the app was received with some interest but was seen as Facebook’s younger, less attractive sister. However, within three months the platform had gained one million users and in just and, in just under a year, hit 10 million. So, why did Instagram succeed?

Instagram has managed to find a perfect balance between creativity and community; simplicity and specialism. It launched as smartphone camera technology was on the rise, and it helped enable anyone with a smartphone to create almost professional-looking photos (either themselves or of their coconut iced frappe). The network has become the online presence choice for the new generation, allowing users to share their most memorable moments. As its users grew, so did the brand. They have been through a ‘controversial’ rebrand, launched new features such as ‘stories’ and also allowed users to create a business account.

As the digital age marches on/continues its trailblaze, so grows the necessity for businesses to have an online presence. Social media has become the new and fastest way for businesses to interact with their current and potential customers. Instagram is now becoming a front contender in Business-2-Consumer marketing. For certain industries, having a strong ‘gram presence’ is just as crucial to having a completely user-friendly website. The fashion industry was the first to start hash-tagging its way into consumer’s lives; now it seems influencer marketing has become one of the most effective methods of building awareness and driving online sales. Some brands, such as LPA Clothing, class themselves as an “Instagram Brand”.

Following closely behind fashion came its right hand woman, Beauty. Not only does it allow brands to showcase their products, but it also gives them access to the customers using their products. This allows them to re-gram photos of their customers, rather than just posting stock images or pictures of models.

After Beauty, more and more industries followed, joining the photo-sharing, hash-tagging revolution. For freelancers and SMEs, this allows them to post numerous images and video snippets of what they are working on, or even post love videos.

One of Instragrams many benefits is its ease and accessibility, meaning users can post anytime and anywhere. For Freelances/SME’s this allows them to post numerous photos/video snippets of what they are working on or post live videos without carrying the risk of ’over-posting’ – as found with platforms such as Facebook. This has not only helped increase Instagram’s presence, but has gained them a ‘following’ through their ever-expanding customer base.

Want to expand your online presence? Join us for a workshop on our Digital Enhancement Programme to expand your knowledge and give you the tools to reach your goals:

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The Northamptonshire Digital Enhancement project, part-funded by The European Regional Development Fund, is aimed at both small and medium-sized enterprises across Northamptonshire.

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