Less than two years after photo-sharing mobile app Instagram launched a decade ago, its founders made the “gut-wrenching” decision to sell it to Facebook in a $1 billion deal.
Journalist Sarah Frier promises her book “No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram” is a revealing, behind-the-scenes look at how Instagram became a social media sensation as a member of Facebook’s family of online services.
Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger wanted a quick way to share photos in an age when smartphones cameras had people capturing all kinds of moments in pictures.
The also wanted to add artistic touches, giving rise to “filters” that overlay effects to transform life moments into nostalgic memories.
Instagram’s founders also wanted to build a community, inviting just a select group of people to join at the start, such as artists or musicians with strong online followings.
Everyone was really just exploring and trying to provide other people a window into their lives.
The founders had a very clear vision for how they wanted Instagram to feel and look. And the Facebook network was pretty much the opposite of that vision.
Where Instagram preferred to think about art and creativity, Facebook preferred to think about engagement metrics, and time spent on the app.
When Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg set his sights on Instagram, it had only 13 employees working hard pressed to keep it up and running.
Every time Justin Bieber would post on Instagram, the traffic would cause the app to crash.
Zuckerberg understood he would not only have to make a money offer they couldn’t refuse, it would have to come with a promise Instagram would remain independent of the social network.