Instagram’s Birthday: Pushing Culture Forward

Nov. 5, 2020

Instagram’s Birthday: Pushing Culture Forward

Instagram’s Birthday: Pushing Culture Forward

It’s Instagram’s birthday today! We’re dropping some new features that we hope you’ll enjoy, but we also want to say a big thank-you to everyone who uses Instagram around the world. Every day you inspire us with how you push culture forward, creating trends that become mainstream.

Birthdays are a good time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed. Since we started, people have come to Instagram to connect with their friends, explore their interests, and be entertained. And as they did, a global community was born, a community that did more, and mattered more, than we ever dreamed.

From fashion, to food, to entertainment, to travel, to the emergence of #weeklyfluff, people on Instagram have shaped the world around them. Who could have predicted that in 2014, astronaut Steven R. Swanson would share the first selfie uploaded to Instagram from space, or that in 2019 a humble little egg would break a world record. Beyoncé shocked us all with a pregnancy-reveal photo that became a truly iconic moment; Australia Football League's player Tayla Harris' kick photo started a national conversation about sexism in sports; and even the Pope came onboard. Through it all, meme accounts have kept us entertained, and countless people have turned their passions into a living on Instagram.

We’ve also seen how people all over the world can rally around each other for support and connection, with important conversations including #setembroamarelo, #iweigh, #realconvo, #366daysofkindness, and #kindcomments. And how our community has used Instagram to speak out against issues like systemic racism and inequity, helping spread movements like #blacklivesmatter, #metoo, #lovewins, and many more. Even now, as 2020 has tested us in ways we never could have imagined, DJ D-Nice and Verzuz battles have brought us together, added some levity, and given us an excuse to dance.

I’m proud of where we are today, but I’m thinking a lot about where we’re going. Right now, we’re witnessing enormous shifts in how people create and enjoy culture. One of the most profound is the shift of power from the organization to the individual. Athletes are arguably more relevant than teams. Artists can showcase their work without galleries or museums. Musicians have ways to reach people without labels. Culture is the collection of stories we tell, and we believe everyone has something worth saying. But it’s often young people and creators who spark those conversations. They set the trends; they signal what’s next.

To keep pace with what’s next, we have to adapt, too. Instagram’s home was designed at a different moment. Over the coming months, you’ll see some major changes from us, like tabs for Reels and shopping, and some big improvements to messaging. We’ll look to accelerate ways for creators to make a living and for small businesses to sell their products. Through all these changes, our community will remain the heart of Instagram, and we’ll stay focused on keeping people safe and building new features that fight bullying, improve equity, address fairness, and help people feel supported.

We know that updating an app used by over a billion people is a big responsibility, but it’s important to adapt. I’m excited about how these changes will help our community create new waves of culture, and I can’t wait to see how you’ll inspire us next.