Instagram wants to use photos to keep people informed about world events

Instagram sees its service becoming more Twitter-like in the future

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, right, speaking with Gigaom Founder Om Malik in San Francisco on Nov. 6, 2013.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, right, speaking with Gigaom Founder Om Malik in San Francisco on Nov. 6, 2013.

Although Instagram users do not commonly turn to the site to find out what's happening in the world, CEO Kevin Systrom hopes that will change.

Instagram may be trying to become a photo-heavy version of Twitter, a major rival service. One of the company's biggest goals is to figure out how to better use the 55 million photos its users upload each day to describe what's going on in the world, Systrom said Wednesday at the Gigaom RoadMap conference in San Francisco.

"How do we surface live events overseas, tell you there's rioting in London, or let you turn to the World Series?" Systrom said in response to a question from Gigaom founder Om Malik about the future of Instagram, during an on-stage chat. "If it's about what's happening in the world visually, how do we let you discover that?" Systrom said.

Right now, discovering new content on Instagram is awkward with the site's existing hashtag and user search functions. "It's really hard to find the content you want to find without being good at searching through hashtags," Systrom said.

To achieve its vision, Instagram said it would need to make better use of location and proximity data. To do that, the company needs to balance the need for privacy with the benefits of providing location information to the Instagram app, Systrom said.

"I'm sure all of us would like to see what's happening across the world as it's happening, but then you need location data," he said.

Other ideas on the table for Instagram include new ways to tag different elements in photos -- such as products -- now that advertisements are part of the service, Systrom said.

Instagram has had strong growth since the company was acquired by Facebook last year. At the time of the acquisition, Instagram had nearly 30 million users and now has 150 million-plus active users. Instagram has around 60 employees inside Facebook, up from about 15 last year, Systrom said.

"We're going from kind of becoming a business, to actually becoming a business," Systrom said.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediamobileinternetFacebooksocial networkingvideomobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesInstagram

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?