Instagram was launched in 2010 at a time when Facebook was highly popular. The app slowly gained ground because it was something new. Instead of sharing stories, Instagram simplified things; people could take a picture of themselves or something they liked and share it with the rest of the world without the need to comment. This technology was radical because no one had ever thought of something so simple. Within the first week of its launch, Instagram had over 100,000 downloads.
The company has also been using incremental innovation to improve the user experience. For example, Instagram used to have a following tab that allowed users discover new people. The feature also enabled the user to see the online activity of those they are following. Instagram removed the feature because it was used as a stalking tool. The company had to get rid of it to make users comfortable.
Instagram is also doing away with the number of likes than an individual can see. The company is currently trying the feature in a few countries to see how the users respond. If people don't have a problem with the feature, Instagram could make it global. This innovation is incremental because it targets current Instagram users, and it is an improvement of a current feature.
Instagram also uses disruptive innovation. In 2016, the firm launched Insta-stories, a feature that was borrowed from Snap Chat. The feature has become popular with Instagram users.