Who Owns Instagram: Instagram Ownership Explained

Instagram has over 1.4 billion users and is the home of everything from cute cat photos to food porn to filtered selfies. If you’re an Instagram user, you probably spend most of your day scrolling through images posted by friends and family.

If you’re like most people, you probably watch a lot of Instagram Reels and upload a few photos every now and then. But do you actually know about Instagram and who owns it? You might be surprised to find out who owns the picture-sharing app.

Who Owns Instagram?

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First of all, let’s look at Instagram’s 12-year-old history. The founders of Instagram include software developer Kevin Systrom and software engineer Mike Krieger.

In the year 2009, a Stanford University alumni by the name of Kevin Systrom, who was 27 years old at the time, was employed at a travel recommendations startup called Nextstop. 

Prior to that, he had experience working at Google in the role of corporate development associate and had also completed an internship at Odeo, a firm that eventually became known as Twitter.

Kevin Systrom, despite having no official education in computer science, taught himself how to code during his free time while working at Nextstop. He ultimately developed a prototype for a web application, known as Burbn, that was influenced by his interest in high-end whiskeys and bourbons. 

Burbn enabled users to check in, share their plans and upload pictures. Even though location-based check-in apps were trendy during that time, the photo-sharing aspect of Burbn was distinctive.

By the end of March 2012, Instagram had amassed a user base of around 27 million. The following month, in April, the app was made available for Android devices, and within a day, it was downloaded over one million times. In the same month, Facebook (now Meta) extended an offer to buy Instagram for roughly $1 billion in both cash and stock. 

An important condition of the deal was that the company would continue to operate independently. Eventually, Facebook proceeded to acquire Instagram for the same amount, $1 billion in cash and stock, before its initial public offering (IPO).

Facebook’s acquisition of the world’s largest social network, Instagram, has definitely proven to be a success.

What’s Meta?

Since Facebook is now called Meta, who owns Instagram? Well, Facebook no longer owns Instagram technically.

In October 2021, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the newly created company “Meta” would become the owner of Facebook, Instagram, and other Facebook brands, just like Google created Alphabet.

The parent company of Meta now owns Facebook and apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp. According to a press release, Meta aims to “bring the metaverse to life and help people connect, find communities and grow businesses”.

Hopefully, this clarifies all your questions about Instagram ownership as emerging technologies like the metaverse will likely impact our lives in the years to come.

Other Platforms Meta Owns

Facebook eventually created Meta Platforms, which is now the parent company of all Zuckerberg’s mergers and acquisitions. Zuckerberg holds over 50% of the voting stock.

The company acquired Instagram in 2012, WhatsApp in 2014, and Oculus Virtual Reality in 2014. In 2019, Facebook also acquired Beat Games. Jia Platforms’ stocks were purchased by Facebook in 2022, and as a result, the company acquired GIPHY for $400 million.

Also, the company attempted to buy Twitter, but the platform is publicly owned, so Zuckerberg’s strategy with several private and public entities was difficult.

In the past, Meta attempted to incorporate TikTok, a platform owned by ByteDance, but that effort was unsuccessful and now TikTok has become Meta’s biggest competitor.

How Many People Use The Instagram App?

With Facebook’s purchase of Instagram in 2012, Instagram’s popularity and usage skyrocketed. After relaunching under Meta Inc, the app’s sophisticated design attracted even more users globally.

The company has roughly 500 million daily active users in 2023, over a billion monthly active users (mAU), and roughly 1.20 billion total users worldwide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Instagram A Permanent Social Media App?

As soon as Instagram was launched for Android, it became one of the most popular social media apps. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and became its new owner. In 2012, when Instagram proved its success to the world, Facebook became its new investor. 

After Facebook acquired Instagram, Instagram gained many users. Downloads increased rapidly, and it soon became an international hit.

What Information Does Facebook Use?

Names, photos, and usernames can be used by Facebook apps, as can public information such as age and gender. Facebook has been acquiring companies and gathering user information for more than a decade; above are just a few of the many companies Mark Zuckerberg has acquired.

How Much Did Facebook Pay For Instagram?

The privacy policy of Facebook’s app was updated about four months after the company was bought for $1 billion in cash and stock.

According to Instagram’s privacy policy, the app collects profiles and anything posted to it, and that information is shared with its business partners and “people who help us provide Instagram to you.”

Himangi is passionate about keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of technology. In her free time, she indulges her interests in neuroscience and art.


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