Perspective on Instagram

This photo is a Lucca view from an iPhone4 using Instagram. The growth story of Instagram is impressive (from Wikipedia):

  • Instagram launched publicly in Apple’s App Store on October 6th, 2010
  • In December 2010, Instagram announced one million registered users
  • It was announced in June 2011 that Instagram reached 5 million users
  • 100MM photos had been uploaded tin July 2011 & 150M the next month
  • In September 26th, 2011 they had passed 10Mregistered users
  • The company received $7.5M from Andreessen HorowitzBaseline Ventures (seed: $500K) and Adam D’AngeloJack Dorsey, Chris Sacca, Baseline Ventures, Benchmark Capital (series A: $7MM)

Instagram has 6 full-time employees, and at this moment is not monetizing, but given how little it costs to run, the option value still interesting. This is an important fact related to the new startup ecosystem, low fixed costs, and dynamic operational costs via cloud solutions like Amazon Web Services. If you want to know more about EC2 and Instagram scaling issues you can follow the engineering blog

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