How Instagram Has Succeeded When Others Have Failed

June 22, 2016

1:35 pm

Social media can be a fickle field to master. Of all the digital fields that we have access to, social media is the most susceptible to being molded by user trends and popularity in other parts of the industry. But despite that, social media is one of the most popular fields to gain popularity in.

But what allows for some social media platforms to succeed while others fail – especially after the initial excitement of a new launch fades? Here's what keeps some platforms on top.

Instagram's Rise to Fame

Though Snapchat is the most popular social media platform amongst users, Instagram is also rising in popularity. Instagram is reported to have 500 million monthly users – outpacing Twitter and Facebook.

How exactly have Instagram and Snapchat been able to dominate the social media industry, even after their initial launches? The secret apparently lies in more than having high user engagement and an adaptable platform (although they can't hurt). In a Fast Company article, Instagram's continued exponential growth is tackled:

“So, what is it about Instagram that keeps reeling in tens of millions of people and ensuring that so many of us keep scrolling and tapping? Some of the reasons are obvious: Instagram’s expansion from iOS to other mobile platforms like Android and Windows Phone certainly helped push these numbers up. Heck, even the continued growth in smartphone ownership in general probably has a natural trickle-down effect (especially as Instagram retains enviably high rankings in the app stores, allowing its popularity to feed off of itself).”

Adaptability Is the Name of the Game

Though it helps to have a platform that utilizes the best of what's trending for users, it's important to emphasize the importance of adaptability. For social media to remain here in the long-term, it's essential that we create platforms that are able to evolve with the needs of users. Creating platforms that emphasize one kind of content creation and sharing won't be enough.

It's also been helpful to have strategic partnerships that help raise engagement and popularity. Since 2012, Instagram has been acquired by Facebook – leading to a sharing of resources and strategies that have cross-network appeal.

Social media is constantly changing and is being reshaped everyday. It's important that we create an industry that's here to last by creating a solid foundation – utilizing adaptability and teamwork, understanding the overall tech industry that social media operates in – all play a vital role in keeping social media afloat.


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Cameron is a tech and culture journalist, comic book enthusiast, and lives near New York City. A graduate of Stockton University, she's using her words to shift the world of online journalism, one byline at a time. When she's not writing, she can be found reading sci-fi novels, collecting succulents, and planning her next obnoxious hair color. Cameron is an editorial fellow at Tech.Co. Send your tips to or tweet @BlkGirlManifest.