Justin Bieber Jump Starts Instagram iPhone App Usage After Posting Photo

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
So, a month ago the data techs at Instagram were watching their monitors when they noticed an incredible surge of usage.

It almost brought the service to a halt.

Was it a hacker?

Was it a glitch in the new iPhone apps software? Was it a spy?

No – it was Justin Bieber.

It seems that the young teen pop star was in Los Angeles working on his new album and had got stuck in traffic – the infamous L.A. traffic jam.

Bieber stuck his arm out the window and snapped a picture of the traffic jam and posted it to his twitter page saying,

“Traffic in L.A. Sucks”

But that’s not so bad right? After all, millions of people take pictures every day with their iPhone.

The difference in this case was that Bieber was using a new free photo sharing app for the iPhone created by Kevin Systrom called Instagram.

At the time, Instagram had less than 5 million subscribers. Within a week that number had surged to over 7 million because the word Instagram was seen on a Justin Bieber twitter post.

And the rest is history.

Over the last month, scores of celebrities have flocked to Instagram including Selena Gomez, Moby, Snoop Dog, Kendall Jenner, Joel Madden, Tori Spelling, Jamie Oliver, Rosie O'Donnell, Kendall Jenner, and countless others.

One of Justin Bieber's Instagram Photos
But what is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo sharing app for the Apple iPhone that lets you apply certain filters to the picture to make it look more interesting. The companies CEO describes it this way,

“It is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your iPhone, and then choose a filter to transform the look and feel of the shot into a memory to keep around forever. We’re building the platform to allow you to experience moments in your friends’ lives through pictures as they happen. We imagine a world more connected through images of what happens around them – whether through friends or people across the world.”

And almost as a quirk of providential luck, Justin Bieber just happened to hear about the app and try it.

After the people at Instagram realized what had happened they reached out to Bieber, who had used an obscure username, and offered to rename his account to his real name – he accepted.

Bieber uses the app to filter pictures of his everyday life, sessions in the recording studio, and visits with his best friends Chaz Somers and Ryan Butler.

This is the kind of free publicity a startup company can only dream about. And Instagram stumbled into it by accident.

“This isn’t some kind of publicity stunt. Justin is just using it because he heard about it and decided to check it out. He liked it and has started using it more and his fans have picked up on it.”


With almost 12 million twitter followers, Bieber has the ability to get a name in front of a lot of people without even really trying.

Bieber Photo with Instagram Filter Applied

It pays to be nice to everybody because you never know when they will have the opportunity to make you a success.

It’s all about being in the right place at the right time with the right product.
We love these kinds of stories.

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