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Kevin Systrom – A Founder of Instagram, Story of His Journey

4 Mins read

Instagram is now a favorite social media platform for both young mobile enthusiasts and businesses, looking to spread their brand name. We love posting our photos to make them viewable to other Instagram users and followers. However, who knows about the founder of this unique platform? Kevin Systrom, a passionate entrepreneur and skillful computer engineer in America, has created this platform with his efforts and his dedicated team. As one of the Instagram lovers, you may find interest in reading the story of this K. Systrom. You will learn about his personal life and the success story of Instagram.

K. Systrom worked as a co-founder of Instagram, one of the most prominent photo-sharing platforms. Mike Krieger collaborated with him to develop the business.

The early life of Kevin Systrom

Born in the year 1983, Systrom was born in Massachusetts. From analyzing his family details, we have found that he had a prestigious family background. Systrom is the son of Douglas, who was once the Vice President of the HR department of TJX Companies. Moreover, his mother, Diane, was one of the marketing professionals at Zipcar. Besides, he had also worked as an employee at Monster. Thus, K. Systrom has learned a lot from his parent to develop the platform, like Instagram.

The academic life of Kevin Systrom

Let us tell you about the academic background and real interests of K. Systrom. This hard-working entrepreneur was the student of Middlesex School, situated on Concord. Since the early part of his career, Systrom has an interest in the computer. Thus, he has chosen computer programming in the latter part of his career. Middlesex School played a role in introducing him to the field of programming.

Interestingly, he found the real interest when he was playing Doom 2. During the high-school years, Systrom, he got a job in a Phonograph record music store, Boston Beat. In 2006, he attained the degree of graduation from Stanford University. He had chosen engineering and management science as the field of study in this Bachelor’s degree course. Besides, he had gained membership in the Sigma Nu fraternity at Stanford. To learn photography, he went to Florence in the winter season of a year.

kevin systrom
Stanford University arranged a Mayfield Fellows Program, and Systrom felt proud for taking part in this program. The fellowship helped him work as an Intern at Odeo, one of the companies that contributed to the development of Twitter.

The beginning of a professional career started at Google.

When the graduation course is over at Stanford, K. Systrom got a fantastic opportunity to work as an employee of Google. His job was to deal with Google Calendar, Gmail, Spreadsheets, Docs, and other Google’s products. After two years of serving Google as one of the product marketers, he moved to another company. His dream was to become the Associate Product Manager on Google. Thus, as he could not get that chance, quitted that job.

Development of Burbn and Instagram

Burbn and Instagram

Kevin Systrom joined Nextstop, one of the startups developed by former Google employees. Later, Facebook acquired this company in 2010. As it was a location recommendation agency, K. Systrom came up with a unique concept of blending social games and location check-ins. Based on this thought, he created a prototype, known as Burbn. He pitched the idea to Andreessen Horowitz and Baseline Ventures.

When K. Systrom went to Mexico for a vacation, his girlfriend was reluctant to post her photos captured with the iPhone 4. She felt that the picture did not make her look attractive. K. Systrom took the step of solving the problem of the iPhone 4 camera by using filters. These specialized filters can hide inferior parts of the photo. Afterward, the X-Pro II filter, created by Systrom, found its use for the development of Instagram.

Mike Krieger and Systrom integrated Burbn into a product. It enables users to make future check-ins, check locations, post pictures, and earn points. However, both Systrom and Krieger found that Burbn had complicated features for users. To simplify it, they focused on one feature, namely, photo sharing. Thus, the creation of Burbn resulted in the development of Instagram that has gained millions of users.

Kevin Systrom made Instagram a feature-rich platform.


In the year 2010, Kevin Systrom started adding more features to make Instagram functional. Within one year, more than 500,000 users signed up for the app to use its features. After two years, Facebook acquired Instagram with a deal of US$1 billion. Thus, it helped Systrom to reach his net worth to US$400 million. As per the claim of Zuckerberg, his team has given the utmost effort to grow Instagram in a better way. Systrom also realized that Instagram got the best resource for pairing up with Facebook.

Under the instructions and leadership of Kevin Systrom, Instagram had also integrated different features, including photo upload, photo filters, short video, follow buttons, geotag images, users’ feed. In due course, Instagram also released the feature that enabled users to connect their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Instagram provided us with different photogram filters, like X-Pro II, Nashville, and Amaro.

In 2016, more than 500 million users were using the platform of Instagram. During the first quarter of 2017, the number of employees working for Instagram was 450. At that time, the strongest competitors of Instagram were Twitter and Snapchat. Although they had more employees, their user base was smaller.

Some more facts about Instagram

Interestingly, the name, Instagram, combines instant and telegram. Most of us do not know about these two terms related to Instagram.

There is another surprising fact about Instagram. When the company released the app, over 25,000 users downloaded it during the first few hours. It resulted in a crash to servers of Instagram.

Overall, we can say that both Kevin Systrom and Krieger had gone through a range of steps to bring success to Instagram. However, they had taken a few years to make the app popular in the online world. In 2016, Systrom was declared as one of the youngest and wealthiest entrepreneurs in America.

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