What Start-Ups Can Learn From Instagram’s Rapid Growth

When you want to give an example of a successful startup, Instagram should be the first thing on your mind. After its billion dollar sale to Facebook, the startup became the ultimate example of making solid business decisions.

Though Instagram is only a couple of years old, it easily out values the New York Times. They surely did a lot of things right, and were successful in their growth hacking strategy. Some of their actions are applicable to businesses worldwide, including yours. Here’s some distinguishable traits to emulate if you want to be like this startup posterchild.


Although Instagram grew beyond all proportions, it maintained the agility needed for success by staying nimble. Having only 13 employees sounds crazy, but that was exactly the the size of its staff. Their headquarters were modest and not over the top, the same headquarters that were used by Twitter.

Being nimble enabled Instagram to switch from one app idea to another. At first, the team had been developing a location-based social network called Burbn. At one point, they decided to switch gears and focus solely on photo sharing. Having a small but agile and a professional team, Instagram proved that it can be done. So, without having to worry about management too much, the team could focus on growth, aesthetics and their community.

Another benefit of having a small team of professionals is that the development process runs smoothly and without much complication. Every consumer need could be satisfied because the tightly knit team was able to pay attention to details, so no important pieces of information got lost along the way.

Perfect Timing

By analyzing the market and by keeping up to date with event trend in your niche, Instagram was feasibly able to get ahead of the oblivious competition. The whole world was going mobile, iPhones were becoming increasingly popular and there was a huge user base for all kinds of apps. Instagram launched exactly when the time was right and attracted a lot of hip iPhone app users. What followed was the long awaited Android app. But why the wait? Well, because they knew they could cash in much more when the Android market share reaches 50%. These kinds of decisions are essential to growing your startup, and in hindsight are imperative to the continuous growth of a successful startup.

Junk-Free Interface

Think Steve Jobs & Apple. Same Ideology here, and it is extremely powerful. When accessing a photo sharing app, you don’t want to see a bunch of disproportionate buttons, awkward menus and types of settings. These are hurdles to get over and honestly users are much quicker to abandon the newly established product. A junk-free interface filled with beautifully filtered photos was simply and ultimately gives the users what they want. Once the app is opened, the device transforms from an emotionless robot to a colorful picture novel. That is exactly what people want, a simple app, without any distractions or copying an existing app available. Keep your users satisfied and focus on the app’s practicality.

startup business, woman working on laptopCommunity Engagement

Capturing and sharing beautiful images- A single, powerful idea enabled them to create a devout community of satisfied users. Images are deeply related to emotional responses. That is why people love the app. Furthermore, the users are not forced into any kind of complex social interaction other that of image sharing. Being centered around images, Instagram’s users formed communities based on types of filters, excessive uses of filters or just around friends. Give the users what they want, and leave them alone. They will make your product sell if you give them something to work with.

Celebrity Users

Instagram is an app that is widely used by celebrities all over the globe. They, like everyone else, like taking, editing and sharing beautiful images. In this way, famous people connect with their fans and are able to show a bit of their human side within their public image. New users are then attracted to the app. Try to make connections between celebrities and common people, so as to make your product accessible to as many individuals as possible. Furthermore, it will give your product authenticity and recognition.

There are a lot of other strategies that the successful startup used to make it in the big game. Read more growth hacking strategies, Do more research, get more useful business advice and start growing your company like the big dogs. It isn’t easy, but what is important is that is plausible. Dream big and keep moving forward


Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamoutinho/7448717958/in/photostream/



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