Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for the biggest brands to use social media to promote their products and services, but it wasn’t always this way.
In fact, back in 2011, when Instagram was just a couple of years old, it was a pretty small social media company.
It only had 1 million users and only had 500 million followers on its platform.
The company didn’t even have a logo.
So what happened?
As it turns out, Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom and Darren Chen, realized that they wanted to create an entirely new type of social media platform.
Systrom was a tech engineer at Google and Chen was a marketing executive at Zynga.
And they decided to put their engineering chops to work building a new social network that would bring together the best of the Web 2.0, and Instagram was born.
Systrost and Chen quickly built a product that had been designed with users in mind: Instagram’s brand was not just about the photos, it also meant the brand’s messaging and user experience.
That’s why it was named Instagram.
The new social media network was born with a lot of attention paid to what it was trying to accomplish.
But it wasn’s also about a lot more than the product itself.
Sygramm and Chen wanted to make Instagram the best place to showcase their content and the best way to promote it.
It was a vision that had never before been done in the industry, but was one that had become a reality thanks to the Instagram platform.
After all, Instagram was one of the first social media sites to truly allow for a user to upload their photos and then share them with others, and that was a big thing for users.
Syms early efforts with Instagram were mostly centered around getting users to share their photos, and they weren’t the only ones who tried to do this.
But when Systrom went back to work at Zywap in the summer of 2011, he realized he wanted to build an entirely different type of platform that would focus on a completely different set of users: influencers.
The first iteration of Instagram was built around creating a platform that allowed influencers to promote and share their content with a new generation of users.
In a nutshell, influencers can’t post content on Instagram, they can’t share photos, they have to create their own Instagram account and the only way they can do this is by linking to Instagram.
Instagram was a massive departure from Systrom’s original vision for Instagram, and it was Systrom who helped pave the way for the company to become what it is today.
“The vision of Instagram is one of a social network for everyone,” Systrom told me.
“But it’s also a platform for only one group of users, the influencers.”
And as a result, influencer content has gone from being niche and very specific to being an integral part of Instagram’s DNA.
When I visited Systrom in Los Angeles in 2012 to ask him about how his early days at Zywang had influenced the company, he was very proud of what he had achieved.
He also explained that he and Systrom were both in a position to help Zywang make the transition from a niche platform to one that was all about engaging with influencers from all over the world.
In other words, Systrom had his eye on what Instagram was all but built around: connecting with influencer influencers and sharing their content.
“We wanted to be the social platform that everyone would be using and want to be a part of,” he said.
“This was the one thing that really set us apart from our competitors.
They were not just going to be posts about someone, they were going to focus on influencers who had already made their mark and were going out there and getting noticed. “
So that’s why the influencer-specific posts were made on the platform.
They were not just going to be posts about someone, they were going to focus on influencers who had already made their mark and were going out there and getting noticed.
That was really the vision.”
Systrom said that he knew he wanted the influence content to be more of an art than a product when he started building Instagram.
“When we started, we wanted to do things that people liked to do, like create and share content on a very high level,” he told me in 2012.
“And that’s what we built on.
We were not building a platform, we were building an art form.”
Systrosts vision of a platform with a dedicated user base was something he was willing to go the extra mile to make sure his platform had a thriving ecosystem of content creators.
In an ideal world, Systrostal would have never had to change his mind about how Instagram’s platform should be built.
“I had no doubt that Instagram was the future,” he once said.
He told me that he always knew that the platform would have to evolve in order to continue to grow.
But the way he saw it