The name Instagram is a portmanteau of “instant camera” and “telegram,” which was created by Kevin Systrom. He originally had an app called Burbn, but decided to change the name to Instagram after receiving funding for his app. Burbn was a check-in application that used a similar concept to foursquare, but had far more features. Instead of using location tagging and captions, Systrom decided to remove those features and focus on the photo sharing element.
The emergence of Instagram can be traced back to Kevin Systrom’s experience in Florence. There, he discovered a hip vintage-style film camera, a Holga. He later interned at the podcasting startup Odeo, which was founded by Evan Williams, who later founded Twitter. His boss at Odeo, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, was also a friend of Systrom. Eventually, Systrom was approached by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to join Facebook.
As the most popular photo-sharing social media platform, Instagram has grown to be a major competitor to Facebook. Founded in October 2010, Instagram was originally launched on the Apple mobile operating system. In April 2011, the social media giant purchased the company for $1 billion in cash, and is now the second largest social network. Founder Kevin Systrom and co-founder Mike Krieger were both inspired by their love of whiskey and bourbon.