Instagram wants photos to be seen beyond '10-hour' window

Kevin Systrom, CEO of photo-sharing app Instagram, has given few details about what changes its 50 million users can expect.

Story highlights

  • "We're going to see Instagram evolve in really interesting ways," co-founder says
  • CEO Kevin Systrom said Instagram will introduce "channels" to organize data flow
  • Instagram hopes to curate older content and become more timeless
  • Facebook acquired Instagram, a mobile photo-sharing app, for $1 billion in April

Instagram is hoping to extract more value from photos uploaded in the past, co-founder Kevin Systrom said Tuesday.

Systrom, making one of his first public appearances since Facebook acquired his photo-sharing app in April for $1 billion, said he wants to expand the software to go beyond the "10-hour" time frame viewed by most users.

"We're still really hard at work on our product ideas," he told attendees at Le Web London -- an offshoot of Europe's biggest internet conference, usually held each December in Paris. "We're going to see Instagram evolve in really interesting ways, and I'm really excited about it."

With the Facebook deal still under financial scrutiny in the United States, Systrom gave few other details about what changes its 50 million users can expect.

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Systrom said Instagram's success lay in its ability to help people communicate visually and express themselves to a wider audience in new, creative ways. "If it's an honest, genuine photo, it will go far," he said.

But he admitted there was considerable room for improvement. He said the company plans to introduce "channels" to organize the flow of images and help users find the best ones.

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"I think we need to do a better job of creating these channels and silos that allow people to learn new things about the world," he said. "We have the content -- it's about exploring it."

To escape the sense that Instagram's feed is merely a snapshot of the past few hours, Systrom said his developers are working to find better ways to curate older content.

"We are trying really hard to take all the data that you've put into Instagram and let you see into the past," he said.

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Systrom appeared alongside celebrity chef and British TV personality Jamie Oliver, an avid Instagram user. Oliver, who has led healthy-eating campaigns in the United Kingdom and the United States, spoke about the democratizing power of the Web, but was more blunt in his assessment of what images attracted the widest circulation: "boobs, pretty girls and dogs."

Systrom offered his own inspiration to other startup companies looking to follow in his footsteps.

"Entrepreneurs need to focus on solving problems," he said. "If you try to solve big problems, there will always be funding."