June 2011

9 posts

How to Host A Photo Contest on Instagram

Recently, the American metal band Deftones hosted an Instagram photo contest which challenged fans to help document their tour. To participate, Deftones fans were asked to tag their photos from the concert they attended with #deftones and #thecitytheyattended (e.g. #Orlando). The contest was a huge success: there are now almost 1,300 photos on Instagram tagged #deftones and the band’s account, @deftonesband, has gained close to 20,000 followers in 3 months.

Photo contests are a great way to increase visibility of your brand on Instagram. We asked Deftones and the brains behind the contest, Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group, for some tips on running a successful photo contest on Instagram. Here’s their advice:

Get Involved

Deftones (@deftonesband) are consistently active on Instagram, throughout the tour posting several photos from each city and sharing them across other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook. The frequency of these uploads helped to build a familiarity with the app amongst the band’s fanbase.

Give It Time

The contest was spread out over the length of an extensive US tour (~2 months), which gave users plenty of time to learn about the contest, so they were primed and ready to snap their photos when the band visited their city.

Spread the Word

Each day one photo was selected as “Fan Instagram of the Day” and featured on the band’s Facebook wall for over 1.5 million people to see – this helped spread the word about the contest on a daily basis. This also provided a great way to drive traffic from the band’s Facebook to their official website. At the end of the contest, the band wrote a story about the winners and featured the grand-prize photo on their website.

Use the Instagram API

Photo streams from both Deftones and their fans are pulled into an official Instagram feed on Deftones.com. Using Instagram’s API helped Deftones establish a consistent, simple and meaningful source of rich media content to be shared on their site and social properties.

Give Away Prizes

Rewarding the best photos helped drive participation. The grand prize winner received a signed 8-string ESP guitar signed by the band and 5 runners-up received limited edition signed vinyl records.

Ready to host your own photo contest? Visit the Brands forum for tips on getting started on Instagram and spreading the word about your account. And be sure to give us a heads up on what you’re planning – we’re always excited to learn about fun campaigns going on around the Instagram community: contact@instagr.am

rob_bee’s winning photo from the Deftones concert in Providence, Rhode Island

53 notes
#api #user feature #brands

We added #hashtags earlier this year as a way to make it easier to organize and discover photos across Instagram. We’ve seen all sorts of great hashtags spring up since then, and so we thought we’d start a blog series featuring some of our favorites.

Have an idea for which #hashtag we should feature next? Let us know at contact@instagr.am

3 notes
#hashtags #photo feature
Is Your Business on Instagram?

Nic Adler, who runs the legendary West Hollywood venue The Roxy, has started to connect with LA music lovers on Instagram. He checked out the Instagram photos that were taken at The Roxy and decided to create an account for the venue itself. “We want to be where our fans are and we love being able to interact like this,” he says. @theroxy now has over 7400 followers on Instagram and nearly 100 photos.

"We started only using Instagram to post show photos and pictures from inside the building, but the thing we learned right away is that the photos don’t have to be only music related," Adler says. "The Roxy posts all kinds of photos now including art, scenery, and funny things we come across, while sprinkling in pieces to promote our shows. The best thing you can do for your business on Instagram is show people why they should get to know you."

The Brooklyn Bowl has just started using Instagram to connect with fans, and to kick things off they’re holding a contest. The 16-lane bowling alley and rock club is encouraging people to snap photos at the club – “be it of your bowling shoes, Blue Ribbon fried chicken, or your best electric slide” – and tag them #brooklynbowl for a chance to win 2 free tickets to any upcoming show. The contest is a great way to interact with fans and build up a beautiful collection of photos for the club.

Want to know who’s sharing photos at your business?

Here’s a simple way to find out: 1. Take a photo at your business, then tap the Where? field before uploading the photo 2. Find your business in the nearby results or by searching for the location* 3. Select your business, then upload your photo 4. Once your photo has been uploaded, tap the location name that appears in blue text above your photo to see all the photos that have been tagged with that location.

Take a cue from the Roxy and try reaching out to some of the Instagrammers taking photos at your business. If there aren’t any photos on your location page yet, consider hosting a contest like the Brooklyn Bowl’s to get things started. Also be sure to check out our best practices and tips for brands on Instagram.

Note that you can also view all the photos associated with a place on websites that use the Instagram API, such as web.stagr.am. Just click on the location associated with a photo to view the location page; for example, here’s the page for all photos taken at the Westminster Bridge in London.

*If you can’t find your business through a search, it hasn’t been added to Foursquare’s location database. You’ll need to add it in order to create a location page for your business on Instagram. Learn how to do that here.

25 notes
#user feature #brands

We added #hashtags earlier this year as a way to make it easier to organize and discover photos across Instagram. We’ve seen all sorts of great hashtags spring up since then, and so we thought we’d start a blog series featuring some of our favorites.

Have an idea for which #hashtag we should feature next? Let us know at contact@instagr.am

4 notes
#hashtags #photo feature
Vancouver Riots

Riots broke out in Vancouver last night after the Boston Bruins beat the hometown Canucks in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup finals. Vehicles were set on fire, store windows were smashed, and rioters battled police officers, armed with tear gas. Last night, Instagrammers captured photos of the riots, and today they’re sharing photos of the recovery effort, which includes a wall where citizens are expressing their disappointment over the outbreak. The photos on Instagram tell a fascinating story not only of last night’s mayhem, but of how the city is bouncing back after the damage. Check out the #vancouver and #canucks tags to see the rest of the story unfold.

Volunteers cleaning up the day after the riots

3 notes
#events #photo feature
Nonprofits on Instagram

Nonprofit organizations are using Instagram to connect with their supporters and share their missions through photos. Take a look at the different ways these three organizations are using Instagram to tell their stories.

Robin Hood NYC

Robin Hood (@robinhoodnyc) holds steadfast to a single mission: to fight poverty in New York City. The organization is using Instagram to live stream fan photos from a benefit concert on 9 June in Central Park featuring the Black Eyed Peas and worked with HD MADE to develop a custom photo visualization using Instagram’s API.

This is the site that will be projected around Central Park during the Black Eyed Peas concert this Thursday, 9 June at 7:30PM.


Today is World Oceans Day, and Oceana (@oceana) is encouraging Instagrammers to share their photos of the ocean. Tag them #ocean to include them among the more than 12,000 ocean photos already on Instagram. Check out @oceana to see beautiful ocean photos and learn more about this fantastic organization that describes itself as: “Hating on offshore drilling, destructive fishing, and pollution. Loving up turtles, sharks, and clean energy.”

Surprise stowaway in Galapagos


charity: water (@charitywater) is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. On Instagram, the organization shares photos from the field, such as people celebrating the completion of a new charity:water well in their town, as well as snapshots from around the charity:water headquarters. Here’s a photo of the cutest donation check they’ve ever received!

@charitywater: “Today we received the cutest check ever. An eloquent poem, a check written carefully in Magic Marker and a few packets of Chiclets! Thanks to Ruby, Esme and the rest of the Madia family! Their $5,000 will sponsor a water project for people in need. Learn a little bit more about their mission to help change the water crisis.”

Know any other nonprofit organizations using Instagram in innovative ways? We’d love to hear about them. Just send an email to contact@instagr.am and let us know!

17 notes
#user feature #brands
Science and Technology

Love science and technology? Check out the great photos the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (@nasagoddard) and GE (@generalelectric) are sharing on Instagram.

NASA Goddard

Final lift off of Space Shuttle Discovery

Project scientist Mark Clampin is reflected in the flight mirrors of the Webb Space Telescope at Marshall Space Flight Center. Portions of the Webb telescope are being built at NASA Goddard

A close-up of Astronaut John Grunsfeld shows the reflection of Astronaut Andrew Feustel, perched on the robotic arm of the International Space Station and taking the photo.

Liquid Nitrogen, used to cool down thermal chambers, vents from a storage tank.


A pulse-detonation actuator from our Energy & Propulsion lab

These panels from our solar lab represent the various layers of material used in thin film solar cells. (From left to right) Cadmium sulphide (yellow), Cadmium telluride (black), and the final cell

An X-ray control panel from 1921. It was built by Victor, which was owned by GE and became GE Medical Systems

In the early 1900s, electric cars outsold gas cars. We found this electric car charger in our archives - it was used in both parking and home garages

4 notes
#user feature #brands
What's New in Version 1.8.5

We just released a new version of Instagram in the App Store (V1.8.5). Here’s what’s new:

View photos you’ve liked: See all the photos you’ve liked since you joined Instagram. It’s an easy way to show your friends memorable photos or re-discover some of your favorites. Just tap Profile > Photos you’ve liked

Add a link to your website in your profile: Let your Instagram followers find out more about you by adding a website to your profile bio. Just tap Profile > Edit Profile and add your site in the Website field.

Auto-complete for hashtags: Entering # in a comment will display a list of hashtags you’ve used previously. Tapping a result from that list will autocomplete the hashtag for you, so no need to type it all out manually. Inserting text after the # sign will include tags you’ve searched for (in addition to ones you’ve used on previous photos). The more letters you type, the more refined the list of tags becomes.

Profile photo saves to library: When taking a profile photo, your photo will be saved to your device’s camera roll automatically (Profile > Change profile picture > Take picture).

We also fixed bugs and made some speed improvements. This version is listed as V1.8.5 in the App Store and V1.18.17 in the app (tap Profile > About to find the version number). Be sure to check out the Help Center if you have any questions, and please let us know if you run into any issues: support@instagr.am

3 notes
#instagram news
Topshop and Incase Photo Campaigns

We’re excited to see the photo campaigns Topshop and Incase are running on Instagram this week. Topshop wants you to drop by for a photoshoot, where you can style your photos with Instagram filters, and Incase wants to see photos of nightlife in your hometown.

Topshop: Wish You Were At Topshop

Want to do an Instagram-styled photoshoot? Now’s your chance. Head into Topshop for a complimentary styling and make-up session before posing for your next Instagram photo. After your photoshoot, choose an Instagram filter to change the look and feel of your photo, then take home a printed copy of your photo on a postcard.

The campaign runs from June 1st - 4th in London, Dublin and Liverpool and from June 8th-11th in New York City and Manchester. Find more details on the Topshop website.

Incase: Picture Perfect Photo Contest

Incase wants you to show them photos of nightlife in your hometown. Just tag your photo #rhcontest and follow @goincase for a chance to win one of three bags from their Alloy Collection. Check out the photos that have already been entered and get more details about the contest at goincase.com/rhcontest.

7 notes
#api #user feature #brands

May 2011

9 posts

What's New in Version 1.8

We just released a new version of Instagram in the App Store (V1.8). Here’s what’s new:

Double-tap to Like: Just tap twice on a photo to like it! You’ll see a white heart appear briefly to let you know your like was recorded.

Double-tap a photo to like it!

Autocomplete Usernames: In comments, enter @ followed by the first letter(s) of the username or display name of the user you want to mention in your comment. A list of users you follow and users who have commented on the photo will appear; the more letters you type, the more refined the list becomes. Tapping a result from that list will autocomplete the username for you, so no need to type it all out manually.

Enter @ and then start typing a username or display name for autocomplete

New Interactive Comment Screen: Tapping “comment” now brings you to a comment screen where you can see all other comments on the photo. If you want to manage comments on a photo, just tap “comment” and then the gear icon in the top right corner. You can also swipe left/right on comments to delete them.

We also made some speed and reliability improvements. This version is listed as V1.8 in the App Store and V1.18.11 in the app (tap Profile > About to find the in-app version number). Please let us know if you have any questions or run into any issues: support@instagr.am

7 notes
#instagram news
Help Joplin

Last night, a tornado tore through the town of Joplin, Missouri, killing at least 116 people and damaging as much as 30 percent of the town, including a major hospital and several schools. It’s the single deadliest tornado to hit the US since the 1950s. You can text 90999 with the message REDCROSS to make a $10 donation to help the folks in Joplin. Here’s more information on how you can help.

We’ve included some photos of the damage in Joplin shared by Instagrammers in the area. These photos give us a unique look into what’s happened in Joplin through these users’ eyes. Communicating events like this through the photos we share with one another can help us more fully understand their impact on those in the area and, we hope, encourage us to help.

@s_pickle: #HeartBroken #JoplinTornado

@s_pickle: #JoplinTornado

@brianstelter: All that’s left of a home north of the hospital. #joplin

@brianstelter: A search and maybe-rescue.

@kdmalcolm: Honking tree in our front yard that collapsed #tornado

@drewmaniac: At MSSU waiting to be sent out for search and rescue. #Joplin #joplintornado

@drewmaniac: Main St. is still shut down this morning. #Joplin #joplintornado

2 notes
InstaCity: New York City

InstaCity is a blog series that introduces you to Instagrammers in different parts of the world. We’ll feature a new city, and a new group of Instagrammers, in each installment. We love exploring the world through photos, and hope that you’ll be inspired to follow some of the users we feature here.

This week, we’re taking you to New York City!


Brian DiFeo helps organize the NYC InstaMeets, one of the largest Instagram meetup groups in the world (last month, they hosted a scavenger hunt!). Brian takes photos that reflect his daily routine, going to and from work: “I cross the Hudson River between downtown Jersey City to Downtown Manhattan,” he says, “so my pictures typically include cityscapes, building architecture, and water. While I may post the occasional candid shot, I prefer to capture sunlight, reflection, and shadows.”

@bridif: Walking home last evening…


Meet Clayton. He lives in Brooklyn and commutes by bicycle to Manhattan every day for work. Along the way, he snaps photos on his iPhone. Crossing the Manhattan Bridge one evening, he captured this beautiful shot of a tugboat. “I got 3 shots off before the tugboat disappeared under the bridge,” he says. “I uploaded the shot to Instagram that night.”

@brooklens: Southbound tug on the East River


Noi Mendoza is a 33-year-old iPhoneographer based in Queens, NYC. She started her foray into iPhoneography in mid-2009 when her husband gave her his hand-me-down iPhone 2G. To this day, she is still using the same iPhone. “Instagram has allowed me to connect with other iPhoneographers in a different and more meaningful way than other social media platforms,” she says. “The Instagram groups and InstaMeets go a long way to build a sense of community among local iPhoneographers here in NYC,” she says.

@noinyc: As I was walking to the subway after work this evening, I saw this man dressed up as a toy soldier. What a sight!


David Castillo likes taking pictures of people on the streets with the city as the background. When taking a break from work or classes, he takes photos and shares them with the Instagram community. “The main reason I love Instagram is the community,” he says. “Instagram for me is much more than an app.”

@frozen_embers: Park her car


Native New Yorker Lolita is a street photographer who’s had a passion for photography since childhood. She enjoys taking photos in the subway most of all, capturing the eccentricities, ethnicities and emotions of New York City. “My most interesting moment using Instagram occurred while taking candid photos of a homeless man, who was approached by a well-dressed man offering food in a large doggie bag,” she says. “It was such a beautiful, private moment, and it was such a thrill to capture it and then share it to the world on Instagram.”“

@lolitalens: Serendipity

Have ideas for cities and Instagrammers we should feature here? Let us know at contact@instagr.am

4 notes
#instacity #user feature
Getting Your News on Instagram

Instagram’s role as a tool for keeping tabs on current events was highlighted earlier this month when Instagrammers spread the word about Osama bin Laden’s death through photos, snapping photos of American flags, President Obama’s speech and the crowds outside the White House. Instagrammers continue to share photos of newsworthy events, resulting in a highly visual way to keep tabs on what’s happening in other parts of the world. A tag search for #flood, for example, will reveal hundreds of photos showing the recent flooding in towns along the Mississippi River. News organizations have taken note, and we wanted to highlight a handful that are leading the way in communicating the latest news through photos.

NBC News

Get a peek inside 30 Rock. @nbcnews shares great photos of the NBC news rooms, the guests that drop by NBC Studios, and off-site photos such as this one of Brian Williams, the host of NBC Nightly News, on the scene in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where a tornado had just passed through.

ABC World News

In addition to sharing photos covering the latest breaking news, ABC World News gives their Instagram followers a behind-the-scenes look into preparing for the evening’s show. Browse through @abcworldnews feed to see photos of the show’s anchor, Diane Sawyer, preparing to record the show from such spots as the rubble of post-tsunami Japan and the floodwaters of Memphis, Tennessee.


As one of the first news organizations to join Instagram, NPR has led the way in sharing breaking news through photos on Instagram. Recently, NPR celebrated the 40th anniversary of All Things Considered by sharing retro photos over the show’s last 40 years. Below is a photo @npr shared of crowds outside the White House on the night President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was killed.

CNN iReport

CNN iReport is finding innovative ways to highlight photos on Instagram that show newsworthy events. @cnnireport encourages Instagrammers to tag their photos #cnnireport, and then iReport staff sifts through those photos and shares a select few with their 27000+ followers. So far, @cnnireport has featured photos of the Mississippi River levees, rising gas prices in the US, and the storms that passed through Alabama last month.

Fayetteville Flyer

Fayetteville Flyer is a locally owned, online news and information resource dedicated solely to the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and their Instagram account, @fvilleflyer, is a great example of how local news can be delivered instantly through photos. @fvilleflyer shares photos of everything from new restaurants spots and civil issues to bank robberies. It’s a fun account to follow, even if you don’t live in Fayetteville.

For tips on using Instagram to deliver news, take a look at NBC News’s 3 Tips for News Orgs Using Instagram.

Know any other news organizations using Instagram in innovative ways? We’d love to hear about them. Just send an email to contact@instagr.am and let us know!

28 notes
#brands #user feature

We added #hashtags earlier this year as a way to make it easier to organize and discover photos across Instagram. We’ve seen all sorts of great hashtags spring up since then, and so we thought we’d start a blog series featuring some of our favorites.

Have an idea for which #hashtag we should feature next? Let us know at contact@instagr.am


#fromwhereistand winning edition, by @laurenlemon

Sparkles & tiles #fromwhereistand, by@bexfinch

Hello :D, by@deemah87

Police Line - Chicago, by@maplesyruponly


Looking down, there’re lovely tiles. ;), by@ nok_kn

5 notes
#hashtags #photo feature
What's New in Version 1.7

We just released a new version of Instagram in the App Store (V1.7). Here’s what’s new:

Grid / List Photo Views: Switch between grid and list views of photos on user profiles as well as on location and tag pages.

Profile Bios: Go to a user’s profile to view their 150-character biography. You can edit your own by tapping Profile tab > Edit profile.

Import Profile Photos from Facebook/Twitter : Use your Facebook or Twitter profile photo on Instagram by tapping Profile > Change profile picture > Import from Facebook / Import from Twitter.

Additional Settings for Push Notifications: Tap the Profile tab > Edit Profile > Push Notifications to edit your notification settings. You can now choose to receive like and comment notifications from everyone or only from the people you follow. Note that Push Notifications for Instagram must be turned ON in the Settings app for these additional settings to work (details here).

More clear when geotagging is turned on: In addition to the green map marker, “Geotagged” will appear in the Where? field if location is turned on. This means that the lat/long of your current location will be tagged with the photo. Just tap the green map marker to turn off geotagging. Read more about how location works on Instagram.

We also fixed bugs for iOS 4.1 users and made some speed improvements. This version is listed as V1.7 in the App Store and V1.18.4 in the app (tap Profile > About to find the version number). Please let us know if you have any questions or run into any issues: support@instagr.am

This release includes a grid view of photos and 150-character profile bios

5 notes
#instagram news
API Highlights: Moby, Starbucks, Deftones

We released our API as a way to make it easier for developers to create innovative ways to browse the ever-growing volume of photos posted to Instagram every second. We’re excited to see the many ways different brands and organizations are using Instagram and the API to create new experiences for their fans, and we wanted to share some of these projects with you. Take a look to learn how you can get involved:


Moby launched a microsite that integrates Instagram photos to premiere his new album, Destroyed. To add your photo to the site, just snap a photo of your city at 2am, include the hashtag #destroyed in the caption and set a location in the Where? field. Then go to destroyed.moby.com to see your photo alongside Moby’s and other Instagrammers’ on the world map and listen to the album in its entirety (thanks to Soundcloud’s API).


There are thousands of photos on Instagram taken at Starbucks cafes around the world, and now Starbucks features those photos on their website. Go to starbucks.com/coffeehouse to check them out and be sure to share your own #starbucks photos!


The metal band Deftones have already integrated their Instagram photos (@deftonesband) and their fans’ photos into the Deftones website, and now they’re hosting a photo challenge to promote their current tour. To enter, just tag your photos from the show you attended #deftones and #thecityyouattended (e.g., #HamptonBeach). Each day one photo will be selected as “Fan Instagram of the Day” and featured on the band’s Facebook wall for over a million people to see, and one grand prize winner will receive an ESP guitar signed by the band. More details here.

Know any other cool uses of the API we should feature? Let us know at contact@instagr.am. We’d love to write about them!

8 notes
#api #user feature #brands
Recap: Worldwide InstaMeet on 7 May

Thanks to all who came out for the second-ever Worldwide InstaMeet last Saturday! From Melbourne to San Francisco, Instagrammers got together to go on photowalks and meet up with other photo-loving folks in their hometowns. The Instagram crew in New York City even put together a scavenger hunt – over 50 people participated, snapping photos of everything from “someone eating a hot dog” to “5 or more strangers in a conga line.”

The Instagram Meetup community now has almost 2300 Instagrammers signed up in over 500 cities. If you want to attend a meetup in your area, just go to meetup.com/instagram to connect with Instagrammers in your hometown, and tell your friends!

Did your city have an InstaMeet? We’d love to hear about it! Drop us a note at instameet@instagram.com

You can do a search for the #instameet tag to see photos from all the meetups – here are some of our favorites:

InstaMeet Melbourne, by @mishobaranovic

InstaMeet London, by @neil

InstaMeet NYC: “20 Points: All members of the team together in one shot while each holding a real animal”, by @takinyerphoto

InstaMeet SF, by @hayzull

InstaMeet Hawaii, by @hawaii

InstaMeet San Juan, by @abracadabracafe

5 notes
#instameet Crosswalk Challenge

Want to win Instagram prints from @instagoodies? Help spread the word about the Worldwide InstaMeet photowalk on 7 May by entering the #instameet crosswalk challenge. Snap a photo at a crosswalk, upload it with the tag #instameet, and you’ll be entered to win. Bonus points for including details about your city’s meetup in your caption, which can be found on the Instagram Meetup page.

3 notes
#instameet #photo feature

April 2011

2 posts

Featured #instameet Invitations

A search for photos tagged #instameet shows a bunch of great photos taken at Instagram meetups around the world, as well as some creative invitations announcing the next Worldwide InstaMeet. We thought we’d share a few of these invitations in hopes that they inspire you to spread the word about your city’s meetup!

The next InstaMeet is coming up Saturday, 7 May. Haven’t signed up for your city’s meetup yet? Visit meetup.com/instagram to let other Instagrammers in your hometown know you’ll be there!

InstaMeet Sacramento, by @oblahdi

InstaMeet Los Angeles, by @salimdao

InstaMeet St.Louis, by @atomicplayboy

InstaMeet New York City, by @jacelinda

8 notes
#instameet #user feature
Worldwide Photowalk: 7 May 2011

We were so impressed by the turnout for our first Worldwide InstaMeet that we wanted to get another one together as soon as we could. The next meetup will be on Saturday, 7 May, and this time we’re encouraging everyone to get together with other Instagrammers in their hometown for a photowalk!

How’s It Work?

It’s easy: just go to meetup.com/instagram to join your city’s meetup group and let other Instagrammers in your city know you’ want to attend the photowalk. You can even help choose a place to meet up and discuss the details of your city’s walk. If you need ideas, take a look at what other cities are doing: New York City Instagrammers are organizing a scavenger hunt, and in San Francisco we’ll be meeting up in a neighborhood park and taking off for photowalks from there. You can also check out the #instameet hashtag to see photos from past meetups.

Spread the Word

Help spread the word about your hometown’s meetup. @grether, who organizes the Portland InstaMeets, shares some tips for how he gets Instagrammers in his city to meet face to face:

  • Don’t be afraid to start small: two or three people is still a meet-up!

  • When you add a location tag in instagram to your pictures, you can click on that location to see other images posted there. Talk to the people who’ve posted at the same spots as you!

  • Search the hashtags to see if places near you are mentioned. If so, talk to the people who’ve posted there.

  • Post a note to Instagram that you want to start a meet up in your town and “@” those new friends you have made. Some won’t want to meet, but others will!

Check out these photos from past InstaMeets. Remember to tag your photos from your city’s photowalk with #instameet so Instagrammers in other cities can browse through photos from your meetup:

InstaMeet Manilla

InstaMeet NYC

InstaMeet London

InstaMeet San Francisco

8 notes
#instameet #user feature

March 2011

3 posts

#instameet Invitation Challenge

Want to win an Instagram stickerbook from @instagoodies? Help spread the word about the Worldwide InstaMeet on 24 March by sharing an invitation to your city’s meetup and tagging it #instameet. The good folks at @instagoodies are giving away their Instagram stickerbooks to 3 lucky participants!

5 notes
#instameet #user feature
CBS on Instagram

We’re thrilled to see that CBS is using Instagram to promote its show NCIS: Los Angeles (@ncisla). CBS will use Instagram as a way for fans to follow the show through behind-the-scenes shots by the cast, including @llcoolj. They’ll also host a national photo competition called “Flaunt Your City” — just share your favorite hometown photos using the #NCISLA hashtag from now until April 1 for a chance for your photo to be integrated into the show’s season finale. You can find more details about the campaign on the NCIS: Los Angeles Facebook page.

We’re excited to watch the different ways businesses use Instagram to create brand new experiences for their fans, and are impressed with the CBS team for leading the way.

6 notes
#api #user feature #brands
Instagram at SXSW

Heading down to Austin for SXSW? Here’s a roundup of Instagram-related events you should try to check out:

Limited Edition Brisk Cans

Keep an eye out for this limited edition can from Brisk that features Instagram photos.

#atxvworld: Austin Photo Challenge

Tag your photos of Austin #atxvworld to enter your photo in @grether’s Instagram Showdown: Austin vs. The World.

Instaprint Photo Booths

Try to find one of these location-based photo booths for Instagram at a SXSW party. A full list of places to spot one and a cool video of how it works can be found at instaprint.me. Kudos to BREAKFAST for creating this!

SWSW Found Type Photowalk (Sunday, 10am)

The SXSW Found Type Photowalk in in its 3rd year, and Instagrammers are invited! It starts at 10am on Sunday. Get more details and join up on the Meetup page.

Instagram API Office Hours (Sunday, 6pm)

Join Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger and other developers for Instagram API office hours on Sunday from 6pm-8pm at Halcyon Coffee Shop. Get more details and join up on the Meetup page.


Not heading to Austin but want to keep tabs on what’s going on? The KCRW team will be snapping photos at SXSW Interactive and Music. Follow @kcrw to see a bunch of photos from the event.

Know about other Instagram events going on at SXSW? Add them to the Austin Instagram Meetup page.

6 notes
#instagram news

February 2011

5 posts

Worldwide InstaMeet: 24 March 2011

Today, we’re introducing an easy way for you to get together with Instagrammers in your area, no matter what part of the world you live in. To kick things off, we’re hosting a worldwide InstaMeet on 24 March, when Instagrammers in all different parts of the world will gather in their hometowns to meet other members of the Instagram community.

How’s It Work?

Just go to meetup.com/instagram to join your city’s Instagram meetup group. Once some other folks in your area say they’re interested, you can choose a location and meet. Someone can even volunteer to be the organizer to help move the process along.

What Will We Do?

The goal of the Worldwide InstaMeet is simply to get together with other Instagrammers in your area. In Portland, @grether organized one of the very first Instameets. “Just get people in a social space (coffee shop, pub, restaurant) with their phones and start talking about this shot or that, this app or that,” he says. That same approach has worked for Instameets in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, too.

If you’re looking for more structure, consider organizing a photowalk, which Instagrammers in San Francisco and Bath, UK have already done (search for the #instameet tag). Or find an event in your area that fellow Instagrammers might be interested in. Just the other week, Instagrammers met up at the Apple Store in Manhattan to listen to @sionfullana’s talk on iPhoneography.

Spread the Word

Once you’ve joined your city’s meetup group, help spread the word to other Instagrammers in your area.

  • Use the hashtag #instameet on Instagram and Twitter when posting about meetups

  • Post a note to your followers letting them know about the Instagram meetup page

  • Post a link to your city’s meetup page on Facebook and Twitter; email the page to your friends

3 notes
#instameet #user feature
A Real-Time API for Next-Generation Apps

When we set out to create our API, we knew we had to support a basic set of interactions that developers would expect from a simple API. At the end of the day, though, we really wanted to push our API to the next level to support a new kind of interaction around photos – one that supported the real-time nature of the content that people create on Instagram. So, we put in a bit of extra elbow grease, and today we’re launching an API with real-time update support.

So what exactly is Instagram’s Real-Time API?

As of today, developers will be able to tell the Instagram API that they’d like to subscribe to new photos from four different entities: 1) Users of the developer’s application: every time a user of an Instagram-linked application posts a photo, the developer’s application will receive a notification. Developers like Foodspotting and sites like Dropbox now both utilize this new functionality. 2) Tags: An application can track a given tag and receive updates every time a new photo is posted with a given tag. 3) Locations: Every time a new photo is geo-tagged with a specific location, the developer will receive a notification. 4) Geographies: Sometimes individual locations are too specific. For these cases, we suggest subscribing to Geographies. Geographies consist of a latitude and longitude and a radius. This allows developers to subscribe to a given area like Austin or a specific city block of Manhattan. For an example we cooked up over this past couple days, take a look at http://demo.instagram.com/ If you’re interested in having a look, we’ve open sourced the source code. On this site, we’ve subscribed to 20 or so geographies of major cities around the world. This demo site gets a ping every time a photo is posted near that location with a geotag (note that only a small portion of our photos are geotagged today). If you’re in SF (or NYC) try posting a photo with a geo-tag and watch it pop up on the screen.

How does the real-time API work?

1) As a developer, you can sign up for the API at http://instagram.com/developer/ 2) You can then create a subscription using a simple command as outlined in the real-time section of the documentation 3) Every time there’s an update to a subscription, our servers POST an update your server using a simple web hook. 4) Your servers then query for the latest information. These subscriptions and the new API enable three major enhancements to Instagram:

1) Universal Sharing on Any Service

We have a long list of sites that we’d like to integrate with – we knew we wanted to support more options, but the question was: how do we do it in a scalable, self-service way? We could have developers poll our servers every five minutes for every user of their application, but this quickly becomes inefficient and nearly impossible for large services. Instead, a site like Foodspotting can have their users link up with the Instagram real-time API and instantly they’re receiving notifications of new photos taken by Foodspotting users. When the user uses the hashtag “#fs”, the picture is cross-posted on the user’s foodspotting account. Also, an independent developer can decide that they really love a service, and would like to see better integration. Dropbox backup of Instagram photos is a pretty great example of this: http://instadrop.appspot.com/ Notice that the site doesn’t live with Instagram, nor does it live with Dropbox. A few hours can mean that a motivated developer can create new sharing options for Instagram on a whim. In fact, the Instadrop website is open-source, so any developer can take that code and create new sharing possibilities with ease. Check out the source code. We’re excited to have both Foodspotting and Dropbox as consumers of the real-time API from day one.

2) Bringing Live to the Web

The real-time nature of the API means that developers that use next-gen servers like Tornado and Node.js can create live experiences to browse what’s happening on Instagram - and throughout the world. The demo site I mentioned above uses Node.js.

3) New browsing options

Today, Momento (one of the most popular personal apps) launches a new version of their app with full Instagram integration. Now Momento users can import their entire Instagram feed and browse posts day by day since their first photo. Flipboard is one of the companies working with the Instagram API to explore beautiful new ways to view and interact with Instagram images. While we’re not quite ready to talk about it, all we can say is that it’s very cool, and we believe it’s a superlative experience for Instagram and Flipboard users. About.me also has some really cool stuff up their sleeve – so expect to see full Instagram integration there as well in the coming week. And finally, one of our favorite new sites is instagre.at which provides a super slick way to browse Instagram’s most popular photos. 2000 developers have already signed up for the private beta, and we’re excited to support a growing community of enthusiastic and creative engineers. Have a cool idea? Get started by reading the API documentation And by the way, if you’re a talented engineer and think this is pretty cool stuff – we’re hiring! Send your resume to jobs@instagram.com Kevin + The Instagram Team

11 notes
#api #instagram news #brands
InstaMeet LA

In LA? The Instagram team will be down in Los Angeles this weekend, and we’d love to meet up with you if you’re in town! Join us at Seven Grand on Saturday evening – RSVP on the Instameet LA Facebook page Here are the details: When:

Saturday, 12 February starting at 7PM


Seven Grand at 515 W 7th St.

Hope to see you there!

5 notes
#instameet #user feature
A More Open Platform: The Instagram API

One of our guiding principles at Instagram is to create & maintain an open ecosystem that changes the way we see our world. With nearly 300k photo uploads happening every day, we feel encouraged by the strength of our community and platform. However, until now, users’ data has only been accessible through our iPhone app. A big part of this was by design: the fundamental belief that choosing to focus our efforts on one thing, and doing that one thing well would help us iterate quickly and build what in 4 short months has gained nearly 2 million users.

Although we’re excited by the growth we’ve seen, we feel that the first step to creating a lasting company is to work with the many talented developers out there in the world. With this, we’d like to invite developers to sign up for access to our API. If you’re interested, simply sign up here:

<a href=”http://instagr.am/developer/”>http://instagr.am/developer/</a>

You can use your current Instagram account to login, or simply create a new account if you don’t yet have one. Either way, you’ll be able to sign up to be notified when we give access.

If you’re an Instagram user, you may be wondering what this means for you and your data. First, I’d like to be very clear that we haven’t rushed the process; we’ve taken a close look at how to best protect your images and data while enabling developers to build cool stuff that makes your life on Instagram easier. This is one of the reasons we’re still in a private beta. We’d like to make sure that the people we do let in create quality apps that increase the aggregate utility of the ecosystem.

Additionally, as a user you still maintain ownership and privacy control of all your images - no questions asked. The Instagram API merely allows talented developers to create really neat and useful apps for you to get more out of your images.

With this, we’re opening up signups now, and we look forward to working with you all going forward.


Kevin Systrom

CEO, Instagram

4 notes
#api #instagram news #brands
A Growing Team for the Opportunity Ahead

At Instagram, the depth of our ambition lies in the goal to change the way we see the world – to connect people from near and far and enable anyone with a camera to tell their story through a rich visual dialogue. From personal moments with your best friend, to breaking events happening halfway across the world, we’re building the tools and platform with which now over 1.75 million people tell their story from one day to the next.

It’s an old adage in Silicon Valley that the ability of a company to change the world lies not necessarily in the technology, initial idea, or bank account but instead in the team – the folks that are just crazy enough to think they can make a difference.

We’ve been a small and lean team from the start – believing that being scrappy, humble, and agile would be the best way forward. Mike and I launched 4 months ago as two guys in a co-working space. Since then, we’ve stayed small, adding two more members to the team. And with that, we’ve seen nearly two million people sign up for Instagram, an amazing 78 million likes given out by the community, and over a half a million tags in under a week. To say that we’re excited by this all would be an understatement.

Today, as we see over 290,000 photos posted per day, we’re struck by how happy we are to be part of a team that not only includes Instagram’s four employees, but the millions of people who wake up every day and choose to share their story on Instagram. With this growth, we’ve decided the time is right to bring together some of the most talented folks in the social web to help us scale the business to the next level.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re adding some new members to our extended team. We just raised a $7 million round led by Matt Cohler from Benchmark Capital along with a stellar cast of folks in technology. Matt, who was formerly Vice President of Product Management at Facebook brings with him a wealth of knowledge of how to manage and grow social products. Benchmark as a whole brings years of experience in mentoring and supporting some of the most exciting and successful companies of the last five years: Twitter, eBay Mint.com, Yelp, Quora and more. We’re both excited and humbled to have such an amazing team become part of the Instagram family.

To the same end, we’re extremely excited to announce a select group of angel investors who will also become part of the Instagram family:

Adam D’Angelo was Chief Technology Officer at Facebook where he helped grow and scale Facebook’s infrastructure to where it is today, serving over 500 million people worldwide. Additionally, he co-founded one of the most interesting startups to pop up over the last year: Quora. His thoughtful approach to new technologies and scaling problems will be an asset to the Instagram team.

Jack Dorsey is the co-founder and chairman of Twitter, and currently the CEO of Square. Jack helped create and scale one of the largest social platforms to date – and continues to innovate at Square. His experience building a communications platform helps Instagram prepare for the challenges ahead.

Chris Sacca served as Head of Special Initiatives at Google. In that role, among other responsibilities, he founded and headed up the alternative access and wireless divisions. Now, as founder of Lowercase Capital, Chris brings a depth of experience in helping grow and mentor startups.

And finally, we’re very happy that Steve Anderson and Baseline Ventures who wrote the first check to get Instagram off the ground have continued to support our endeavor.

With this new capital, we’re excited to accelerate building a world-class engineering team to help tackle next-generation problems of scale in mobile and social. Our new capital will also allow us to scale to the opportunity we’ve been handed across a variety of platforms on mobile and the web.

We’ve got some groundbreaking stuff in the pipeline that changes the way we see and consume what’s happening in our world. I’m excited to help lead a team that will do nothing but continue to push the envelope of what’s possible, and bring you first-class products. Again we’re excited at this moment in our company’s growth to be lucky enough to grow with the opportunity in front of us all.


Kevin Systrom

CEO, Instagram

7 notes
#team #instagram news

January 2011

3 posts

Introducing Hashtags on Instagram

Today we’re excited to take another step towards making it easier for people to share their lives through photos. Introducing hashtags, now supported in the latest version of Instagram.

Yes, they work similarly to Twitter hashtags, but reinvented from the perspective of an Instagram user. Now, you can add hashtags to any of your own photos by including a hashtag in the caption of your photo or in a comment. Anyone can then tap on the hashtag in your comment to see all photos with the same hashtag.

Want to see what’s going on right now at the Sundance film festival? Check out the #sundance page, where you can browse through photos taken during this year’s festival. Better yet, if you happen to be there, just start adding #sundance to your captions, then tap on the hashtag below your photo to view all #sundance photos, including your own. This feature allows for everyone from you and your friends to strangers at a conference to contribute to an ever-growing pool of photos organized by hashtag.

As a bonus, every hashtag now has an RSS Feed associated with it, which makes it easy to subscribe to new photos. If you’re interested, simply point your favorite feed reader to http://instagr.am/tags/[hashtag name]/feed/recent.rss (where [hashtag name] is the name of the hashtag without the leading #). This will allow event organizers or anyone with a feed reader to follow along with live photos as they’re added.

You can also search for tagged photos by tapping Profile tab > Search Instagram > Tags. Try searching for #streetart to check out a great collection of street art users have started documenting.

Today, we’d also like to announce that some folks on Instagram have decided to use the new feature in some really cool ways:

Charity: Water - #charitywater

Charity: Water (@charitywater), which brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, is encouraging users to share images of water in their life using the hashtag #charitywater

Brisk Iced Tea - #briskpic

Want your Instagram photo featured on a limited edition can of Brisk (@brisk) at SXSW? Just tag your photo with #briskpic for a chance to be included. Check out the entries at briskpic.com

NPR - #love & #hate

NPR’s social media desk (@npr) wants people to upload photos capturing the ideas #love and #hate, respectively

Photojojo - #winphotowin

Photojojo (@photojojo) is giving away their amazing cell phone lenses to one random photo tagged with #winphotowin

@joshjohnson - #jjchallenge

Instagram user @joshjohnson is teaming up with Hatchcraft (@hatchcraft) on a Lomo-filter challenge — tag your best photos that use the Lomo filter with #jjchallenge to enter for a chance to win your Instagram photo printed out and framed in one of Hatchcraft’s beautiful bamboo shadow box frames

To learn more about how hashtags work, check out our FAQs.

19 notes
#news #brands
First Three Months in Photos

We launched Instagram three months ago, and in that time, members of the community have shared millions of moments with us through their photos. As we prepare for the new year, we wanted to put together a collection of photos that tells the story of Instagram’s first three months.

Through your photos, we went on the road with one of our favorite bands (@ntnl) and watched the San Francisco Giants win the World Series (while we were in our office just down the street from the ballpark working on Instagram!). Photos have been snapped all around the world. In Paris, @parislemon took the first-ever Instagram shot of the Mona Lisa; in Scotland, @christopherhowell held the first-ever Instagram art exhibition; and off the coast of Mexico, the acclaimed illusionist David Blaine (@xblaine) shared a shot of himself reaching out to pet a Great White.

As a company, we grew from 2 to 4 people and moved into a new office in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood. We were ecstatic to see Instagram featured in the App Store and to welcome over a million users to our community. We even spotted an Instagram photo gracing the frontpage of the Wall Street Journal.

Thanks again to each and every member of the Instagram community who has made the app what it is today. Here’s to many more years of sharing small moments of life through gorgeous mobile photos.

@mikeyk on launch morning

#1 in App Store within 24 hours of launch

iPhone App of the Week

Our new office

Instagram reaches 1 million users

Instagram launches in 7 new languages

from The New York Times: “That moment is Instagrammable!”

An Instagram photo on the front page of the Wall Street Journal: Personal Journal

David Blaine (@xblaine) swims with sharks

@npr joins Instagram

The National (@ntnl) on Instagram

@christopherhowell puts on an Instagram art exhibit in Scotland

@sacca gets engaged

@parislemon instagrams the Mona Lisa

The Giants dugout

Giants World Series parade in San Francisco

Praise on Daring Fireball

@scobleizer instagrams Woz at the Computer History Museum

6 notes
Help Us Win A Crunchie!

We’re excited to announce that we’ve been nominated Best New Startup and Best Mobile App for 2010 by Techcrunch. Help us win a Crunchie Award by voting for us! You can vote once per day until Wednesday, January 19th at midnight PST.

5 notes
#instagram news

December 2010

2 posts

The Instagram Community - One Million and Counting

It was 12:15am, October 6th and we had been working on the app non-stop, day and night for 8 weeks. With a bit of hesitation, I clicked the button that launched “Instagram” live to the Apple app store. We figured we’d have at least 6 hours before anyone discovered the app so we could grab some shut-eye. No problem, we figured.

Within a few minutes, they started pouring in. People from places like Japan, France, New York, started signing up in droves. The night of sleep we were hoping for turned into a few meager hours before we rushed into the office to add capacity to the service.

Now, only a couple months later, we’re happy to announce that our community consists of more than a million registered users. But why is this important?

We believe it’s the beginning of something bigger. When we started working on Instagram, we tried to imagine what the world would be like if everyone could contribute media to an open, transparent, and international community. For a startup with 80 users at the time, this was a big hairy audacious goal. Little did we know that within a few short weeks we’d see more images from all over the world than we could have ever imagined. It was both rewarding and humbling to see people embrace Instagram as both a new home on their iPhone - and a new way of communicating visually with people around the world. We believe this is only the beginning. With 6.7 billion people in the world, we’re a tiny fraction of the way there, but we’re extremely happy with the progress.

So as we close out on 2010, the first couple months of being live, and welcome the new year, we’d like to extend our greatest thanks to each and every one of the million folks who have taken the time to participate in Instagram by sharing small moments of life through gorgeous mobile photos.

Happy New Year, and here’s to many more!


Kevin + The Instagram Team

15 notes
#news #user feature #instagram news
Fast, beautiful, photo sharing - now with Foursquare

We’re excited to announce a very cool integration with our friends over at Foursquare. When we launched two months ago, we decided to add the ability to automatically check-in on Foursquare if you tagged your photo with a location. This was a fun and convenient way to check-in, but your friends on Foursquare would never see the photo. Bummer.

Today all that changes with Foursquare’s announcement of photo support.

Now, every time you select “Foursquare” in the sharing options and tag your photo with a location, we’ll not only check you in on Foursquare, but we’ll also attach the photo as part of your check-in so your Foursquare friends can see as well. Neat, huh? We sure think so.

Of course, we’re open to more integration ideas too. Why not hop on over to our forum and contribute to the list?

And if you’re new to Instagram but curious to try it out, well howdy! We’re the fastest, most beautiful way to share photos from your iPhone to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Posterous and now Foursquare. You should download the app in the App Store and get snapping!

10 notes
#news #instagram news

October 2010

1 post

Welcome to Instagram

We’re really excited to launch our first version of Instagram today, free in the App Store. Instagram makes mobile photos fast, simple, & beautiful.

When we sat down three months ago to start designing our product, we looked at digital photos and realized very few exciting things had happened in the last 5 years. We’re setting out to change that, and this release is our first step along the way.

Some of the problems with photos we heard from users that we tried to solve:

1. “My mobile photos look lame”: even though the megapixel count on phone cameras keeps going up, most mobile photos don’t have mood and tone. We set out to change this by making it super-simple to transform your photos using 11 one-click filters in the app.

2. “It’s a pain to share to all the friends I care about”: some of your friends want to follow your every update in life; others like seeing some occasional posts on Facebook. We made it super-simple to share photos not only with your followers in the Instagram community, but with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr, all with a tap of the switch.

3. “Photos take forever to upload, and viewing them is slow”: we worked to make the uploading, sharing, and viewing experiences as smooth and speedy as possible, whether you’re using a first-gen iPhone or the latest and greatest.

We’re looking forward to seeing your photos & hearing your feedback on our app. We’re all ears at contact@instagr.am. You can also learn more about us, see our FAQs, and, if you’re an iPhone developer or designer, give our jobs page a look.

A huge thanks to our fantastic beta testers, who have given us the tough love that every app needs as it’s being created, and taken some stunning photos along the way, from San Francisco to Barcelona, Sao Paulo to Amsterdam. Here are three of our favorites, by @chrismessina, @colerise, and @grex:

Want the app? Download it for free in the App Store!

33 notes
#news #instagram news