Who Owns Instagram?

Who owns Instagram

Instagram is owned by Meta Platform, an American company whose former name is Facebook. Meta acquired Instagram in April 2012 for the amount of USD $1 billion. Mark Zuckerberg, an American internet entrepreneur and business magnate, is the current CEO of Meta Platform, though he doesn’t have 100% ownership of the company. Instead, he owns 13.6% of the company, and he is the most influential decision-maker. Institutional investors like Vanguard Group, Inc and Fidelity Management & Research Company also hold a significant percentage of the Meta company.

Brief History of Instagram

The idea to start Instagram occurred to Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger when they were working on Burbn, a check-in app for sharing locations with friends. Both men realized that people prefer sharing photos instead of sharing their locations. As a result, both men decided to create a dedicated photo-sharing app, which they named Instagram. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched Instagram in October 2010, though the app was available only on iOS at that time. Eventually, Instagram became available on Android and Windows as well. 

The co-founders handled various aspects of Instagram by themselves during the early days of Instagram. For instance, they handled coding, marketing, and customer support. As Instagram’s popularity increased, they eventually hired engineers and other staff to help them develop better features for the app. As of 2012, Instagram already had 30 million users. Its large user base and mobile strategy attracted Meta’s attention to acquiring Instagram. Eventually, on April 9, Meta acquired Instagram for $1 billion. Meta decided to allow Instagram to operate independently even after the acquisition.

Brief History of Instagram’s Co-founders

Kevin Systrom

Kevin Systrom is a software engineer and entrepreneur. Systrom was born in Holliston, Massachusetts. He studied management science and engineering, and once worked as a product marketing manager at Google, before starting to pursue his startup. He served as the CEO of Instagram after he co-founded it with Mike Krieger, and resigned from Instagram in 2018

Mike Krieger

Mike Krieger is a software engineer and entrepreneur. Krieger studied symbolic systems at Stanford University. He served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Instagram right from the time the app was launched till 2018 when he left Instagram. He and Kevin Systrom, co-founded another startup, known as “rt.live”, after he left Instagram.

Meta’s Influence on Instagram

Meta’s acquisition of Instagram has had some notable influence on Instagram. Here are some of those influences:

Access to Larger Resources

Instagram now has access to larger resources as a part of Meta, which is one of the best tech companies worldwide. For instance, Instagram now has access to larger financial resources to carry out research and marketing. 


Meta has helped Instagram increase its user base further by promoting Instagram on Facebook, which is another social media platform under Meta. Besides, Instagram and Facebook became well integrated after Meta acquired Instagram. This integration of Facebook and Instagram encouraged lots of Facebook users to own an Instagram account.

Algorithm Changes

Instagram’s Algorithm has changed significantly since Meta acquired it. Currently, Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content from accounts users engage with frequently. This particular algorithm takes its root from Facebook’s algorithm.


Meta has introduced various monetization strategies to Instagram since its acquisition. Some of those strategies include shoppable posts and sponsored posts. These features have helped Instagram become an ideal platform that many businesses use for adverts.

Meta’s IPO

Meta (formerly Facebook) became a publicly traded company on May 18, 2012. Each share cost $38 at that time, and the company made 421 million shares for sales, increasing the company’s valuation by over $100 billion.

Major Shareholders of Meta

The top shareholders of Meta own a significant part of Instagram. Those top shareholders include the following:

Vanguard Group, Inc.

The Vanguard Group holds 7.60% of Meta shares, worth about $25.5 billion. Vanguard Group, Inc is a registered investment advisor in Malvern, Pennsylvania, having approximately $7 trillion in global assets under its management as of January 13, 2021. The Vanguard Group, Inc., is currently the largest provider of mutual funds worldwide

Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMR Co.)

Fidelity Management & Research Company holds 5.07% of Meta shares, worth about $17 billion. The company is a multinational financial services company in Boston, Massachusetts. It has approximately $4.5 trillion worth of assets under its management as of December 2021.

BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, Inc., holds 4.48% of Meta shares, worth about $15 billion. BlackRock, Inc., is a multinational investment company in New York City. It is the largest asset manager in the world, with about $10 trillion worth of assets as of January 2022. The company actively encourages investors to evaluate how their investments affect the environment and society.

SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

SSgA Funds Management, Inc., holds 3.92% of Meta shares, worth about $13.15 billion. SSgA Funds Management, Inc., is a subsidiary of State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), serving as an investment management company. As of December 31, 2021, the company had about $4.14 trillion in assets under management.

Geode Capital Management LLC

Geode Capital Management LLC owns 2.0% of Meta shares, worth $6.72 billion. Geode Capital Management LLC is an investment management company with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. As of December 2021, Geode Capital Management had about $730 billion in assets under management


Mark Zuckerberg is the face of Meta company and has the highest voting power because of the high number of shares he holds. However, he doesn’t have 100% ownership of Meta or Instagram, as the ownership is diversified among the shareholders of Meta company. While Instagram’s shares themselves are not available for trading, anyone who wishes to be a partial owner of Instagram can buy a significant amount of Meta shares.



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