Instagram's Business Plan a Developing Story: CEO

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2012 | 1:39 PM ET

A picture may be worth 1,000 words but the co-founder of Instagram says his online photo-sharing company—currently with 15 million users—is aiming to become a multi-billion-dollar business.

"I think the goal in social media is to get as large as possible as quickly as possible, because at the end of the day it’s a winner-take-all game," CEO Kevin Systrom told CNBC Tuesday about his company's free app.

"You see Facebook with something like 800 or 900 million active users. That’s something we’re shooting for because you want to have change on a mass scale."

Sharing pictures, from the biggest news disaster to the smallest family birthday party, "naturally lends itself to brand advertising in the long run," he said, and this is where he expects to increase revenue at his seven-person company. Some of the companies using the service to share images of their clothing lines include Burberry, Banana Republic and Kate Spade.

Inside Instagram's Success
Instagram has taken off since it was launched in October 2011. It's vintage photo filters and photo sharing capabilities have attracted 15 million downloads, with users ranging from Justin Bieber to President Obama. Kevin Systrom, co-founder & CEO of Instagram, discusses.

Currently there are no premium photo filtering serves on Instagram, but "it's always an option going forward," said Systrom.

"This is a branding play," he added, "and if we want to turn this into a multi-billion-dollar business, we have to take advantage of the natural medium."


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