3 Lessons Learned from Instagram

By yellowleaf

April 11, 2012

Well, we all know what’s been happening in the wide world of social media this week. On Monday Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (Zuck) announced on his Timeline that Facebook is acquiring Instagram. Minutes later, Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, posted on the company’s Tumblr blog about the acquisition.

I was shocked to see some of the things Zuck wrote about the acquisition:

“But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.”

“That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”

“We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.”

It seems as though Facebook won’t be tampering with Instagram’s awesomeness, but a lot of folks don’t think this will last very long. This does, however, seem to be a unique situation for Facebook…

“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”

Whatever the outcome may be, it’s astonishing what Instagram has done in 17 months. Astonishing. $0 to $1 Billion in 17 months. Acquired by the world’s largest social network to help them improve the way their users share photos. Below, I’ve posted an Infographic posted by Mashable this morning and made by the creatives at Visual.ly. Before we get to the [awesome] infographic, here are 3 takeaways from this saga and what I’ve learned from Instagram and hopefully will apply to Yellow Leaf Marketing.

1. See a void and fill it.

Instagram saw a void in social media and the way people used and communicated with their smartphones. They acted quickly and filled that void.

2. Keep it simple. Don’t over-think it.

When creating and adding features to the app that millions upon millions of people love and use every day, Instagram stayed simple. Their team is small – less than 15 employees. Their focus is narrow. Their product is intuitive and simple, but extremely effective. I think it’s important to keep it simple and not over-think it. When we begin to over-think our offerings, we lose sight of “why” we do what we do in the first place. I hope to grow here.

3. Adapt and grow as your customers adapt and grow.

Similarly to #1 in this list, Instagram saw a need and they filled it. But they kept delivering for their customers as their customer-base grew. I think it’s important to recognize that what I/we/you do right now may not always be what our customers need tomorrow. Are you willing to adapt and grow and provide excellent service at every turn? My hope and prayer is that Yellow Leaf Marketing would always be ready, willing and able to “add new filters” upon request and over-serve our clients with whatever needs arise.

Below is Instagram’s history (in Instagram photos of course….) courtesy of Mashable and Visual.ly. Enjoy.

by visually. Browse more infographics.

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