Instagram Was First Called 'Burbn'
Yes, after the drink.
They began by studying all of the popular photography apps, and they quickly homed in on two main competitors. Hipstamatic was cool and had great filters, but it was hard to share your photos. Facebook was the king of social networking, but its iPhone app didn’t have a great photo-sharing feature. Mike and Kevin saw an opportunity to slip in between Hipstamatic and Facebook, by developing an easy-to-use app that made social photo-sharing simple. They chopped everything out of burbn except the photo, comment, and like features.
They also added filters. But simplicity remained their focus. In their final version, you could post a photo in three clicks.
After months of experimentation and prototyping—on October 12, 2010—Systrom and Krieger released a simple photo-sharing app. It was named not Burbn, but Instagram.
"It's about going through false starts," Systrom said at a conference in 2012. And, yep, "Burbn was a false start. The best companies in the world have all had predecessors. YouTube was a dating site. You always have to evolve into something else."
And so does, often, your name. There was another prototype Systrom and Krieger built between Burbn and Instagram. It was named ... Scotch.