How much do you know about the first Instagram photo to appear online?
For that matter, how confident are you that you know what your first post should be?
We’re almost 10 years on from the launch of Instagram in October 2010. For most people, it’s hard to imagine a life without #Hashtags, @Mentions, and Instagram Stories.
The photo-sharing social media channel is one of the most popular places to visit in the world, with more than 500 million users tuning in each day. If that wasn’t enough, there are also more than a billion users active on Instagram overall.
If you’re thinking of using Instagram to help your business grow, it may help to get a little inspiration from the people already #NailingIt on Instagram.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane to help you to successfully plan your Instagram strategy.
What was the first Instagram photo to appear online?
What better place to get inspiration for your first Instagram photo, than from the creators of the app itself?
The first Instagram photo was uploaded a few months before the channel was available to the public. Taken by co-founder and CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, the picture shows off an adorable Golden retriever puppy (@Dolly), next to the disembodied foot of Systrom’s long-term girlfriend, Nicole Schuetz.
The image of the pup now has an incredible 106,165 likes, after it was published on the 16th of July 2010, 3 months before the official launch of Instagram.
The caption “test” might not be very inspiring. However, Kevin said in an interview that he would have tried a lot harder if he had known it was going to be the first official post on Instagram.
Kevin’s picture of Dolly was followed up by an image of his favorite taco stand “Tacos Chilakos,” which got fewer likes (24,463). It seems like people appreciate pictures of dogs more than taco stands with no visible tacos. Who knew?
Inspiration from the Instafamous: 5 first Instagram photos from celebrities
Even a quick glimpse at some of the initial pictures uploaded by founder Kevin Systrom is enough to highlight how far we’ve come from the initial days of Instagram. The photo quality, style, and even filters are a lot better today than they once were.
If you’re still hungry for insights into some of the most memorable first Instagram photos – don’t worry.
Since it’s tough to track down the first images from some of your favorite celebs these days, we’ve put together a list of the must-see ‘grams for you.
Our Queen Bee, Beyoncé made her way onto Instagram on the 6th of November 2012, a couple of years after the site officially launched. Fierce as ever, Beyoncé made her debut with an image supporting President Obama. There was no caption, but in this case, that seems to add to the drama of the content. Beyoncé now has 128 million followers.
2. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez is one of the most popular names on Instagram today. Her first Instagram photo ever was a video, where she announced that she was “back” in the spotlight. Gomez joined Instagram on the 15th of July 2014, and she’s been owning the platform ever since. Selena now has 152 million followers.
3. Kim Kardashian
It’s probably no surprise that the Queen of Instagram made her debut on the platform with a stunning selfie. Kardashian blew kisses to Instagram in her first image, which was enough to capture the hearts of countless followers. Today, Kim has more than 142 million people following her on Instagram.
4. Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner, another must-follow name in the Instagram community, posted on the channel about her visit to the world’s happiest destination – Disney world. Her caption “Disneyland!” might not have been the most exciting, but it’s a great insight into Kendall’s playful attitude. Kendall Jenner now has 112 million followers.
5. Robert Downey, Jr.
Finally, Avengers star Robert Downey Jr showed off his evening hanging with Jimmy Kimmel and a variety of A-lister co-stars in his first Instagram photo. The caption “Come get me, Instagram” is an excellent look at Robert Downey Jr’s fantastic personality. Today, he has 40.9 million followers on the channel.
How to choose your first Instagram photo
Now that you’ve seen some of the first Instagram photos to come from other people and celebs, it’s time to start planning your debut post.
This is an important decision – as your first image is your introduction to the world of Instagram. The last thing you want to do is leave the wrong impression on your target audience.
So, how can you make sure that you pick the right photo?
Step 1: Make sure you understand your niche
There’s more research involved in being successful on Instagram than most people realize.
Unfortunately, while you might be tired of homework, it’s the only way to make sure you’re going to post something that speaks to your audience. Think about the kind of image you want to create on Instagram, then look at the sort of first-time posts that other organizations in your area have used.
Obviously, you don’t want to copy and paste someone else’s style, but you can use what you learn as a helpful launching point. For instance, maybe your first post could be:
- An introduction to your team: Post a picture of you and your employees smiling and loving life together.
- An intro to your brand: Share a picture of your flagship product, with the colors and aesthetics you want to be known for going forward.
- A behind-the-scenes look: Give people an insight into your business that they can’t get anywhere else with a behind-the-scenes approach.
Look at Oreo’s posts: They’re always mouthwateringly delicious and playful, appealing to the kind of audience that Oreo wants to attract.
Step 2: Always produce high-quality images
Whatever you decide, your first Instagram photo should be, it’s crucial that you post something that looks great. Instagram is the most popular aesthetic social sharing site in the world. With that in mind, you can’t afford to post anything that isn’t professionally captured and edited.
Before you publish any content, make sure that it looks the part. Check out some of the images that competitors in your space have posted and ask yourself if you’re sharing the same kind of quality. If not, you may need to upgrade from a smartphone to a high-quality camera, then upload images to your Instagram from your desktop, instead of your smartphone.
Remember, there’s also plenty of apps for Instagram out there that can help to improve the appearance of your images too. Look at the stunning clean-cut images on the KitKat Instagram page:
Step 3: Avoid overdoing it with filters
You probably noticed that some of the first Instagram photos we shared from celebs above had something in common. Most of them relied way too heavily on filters. While filters were fun when people were first discovering Instagram, we’ve since found that it’s better to maintain an authentic and clean look wherever you can.
If you are using a filter, keep it subtle. Too strong of a filter in your photos can harm the natural lighting and make your image look less professional. Don’t apply any filter to its full intensity and pull back if you notice that the image looks grainy.
When you start to play around with other content like videos and Instagram Stories, try not to go over-the-top there either. Stickers and gifs are a great way to add more character to your Instagram photos, but you don’t want to do too much in a single image. Today’s customers want to feel like they’re building genuine relationships with brands – they can’t get that experience from over-edited photos.
Look at how natural Lush’s Instagram pictures seem:
Step 4: Decide on your aesthetic in advance
Consistency is critical when you’re building a brand image. That’s true whether you’re designing a stunning website with regular blog posts or publishing content on Instagram. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to decide on what your Instagram aesthetic is going to be before you commit to your first Instagram photo.
Think about the kind of color palette that might work well for your brand. Many companies start by using their brand colors. You can also choose an aesthetic based on the kind of audience you want to appeal to. For instance, @LaPetiteNoob has an Instagram profile that’s covered in pink. She’s trying to appeal to a more feminine audience, which makes her pastel-rich grid a perfect fit.
Although it will take a while to set your ideal aesthetic in stone, your first Instagram photo goes a long way towards letting audience members know what they can expect from your brand.
Step 5: Take advantage of your captions
Finally, remember that while your pictures might be worth a thousand words on Instagram, you still need your captions if you want to achieve real results. Don’t make the same mistake as co-founder Kevin when you’re posting your first Instagram photo. Think carefully about how you want to introduce yourself to your new community.
Remember, tools like Kenji.AI can help you out a lot when it comes to choosing your initial hashtags, by looking for hyper-targeted options in your space. Combine a few niche hashtags with trending tags to make sure that your pictures get the attention they deserve when you launch your brand on Instagram.
As you continue to post on Instagram, you’ll learn more about the kind of tags that your audience responds best to, and what sort of tone of voice you need to use in your captions.
Posting your first Instagram photo
Feel like you’re ready to go?
Before we leave you to jump into the world of Instagram for the first time, here’s a quick guide on how to post your first Instagram photo.
Click on the icon at the bottom of the screen, in the middle of the bar:
You can either take a photo by pressing on the circle button or select the library option in the bottom left of your screen to upload an image you’ve already taken.
Ideally, we’d recommend never taking a photo on the Instagram camera that you upload directly to your account. It’s much better to edit your content first, to make sure it matches your intended aesthetic.
When you upload an image, Instagram will give you the option to crop and edit it first. After that, you’ll have a range of options to enhance your picture using filters and other content. Once you’re happy, click next, then add your caption, along with #hashtags, a location and anyone you need to @Mention.
Are you ready to make your Instagram debut?
Publishing your first Instagram photo is a daunting prospect for many people.
Whether you’re an influencer or entrepreneur using Instagram to develop your brand, or a company looking for new marketing opportunities on one of the world’s most engaging platforms, there’s a lot to think about.
Looking back at some of the first Instagram photos to appear online doesn’t just give you a source of inspiration. It also shows how far we’ve come from the initial days of Instagram.
The channel is continually evolving and improving, with new trends to consider and follow. However, before you can begin making the most out of Instagram, you need to know what kind of brand you want to build so you can take the leap and publish your first post.
Think carefully about the aesthetic you want to create with your new Instagram profile, and remember that first impressions last a lifetime. Don’t take risks when it comes to making your account stand out. Do your research and publish a photo that your followers will never forget.