TODAY   |  October 04, 2013

Oh snap! CEO marks Instagram’s 3rd birthday

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom is celebrating the app’s three-year-anniversary. He tells TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie he knew from the start that his team had created something bigger than they imagined.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> picture is worth a thousand words but in the case of instagram it's more like a billion dollars. that's how much facebook paid for the popular photo sharing app in 2012 . kevin systrom is the ceo and owner. good to have you here. they pioneered the use of filter. i thought i'd ask the control room to change the filter.

>> it's good. it's a start.

>> maybe black and white .

>> i look good in that one.

>> you do. should we just continue with the interview.

>> absolutely.

>> let me throw numbers at you. 150 million. do you know what that refers to?

>> 150 million people use instagram every month around the world.

>> very good. 55 million photos uploaded daily. 1.2 billion.

>> likes every single day.

>> 3.

>> 3?

>> age of instagram. 29 age of you. do you ever sit back and say i can't believe this happened?

>> every single day. it's really inspiring because we set out to create an app that would make people love sharing their photos with other people and it turned into something much larger than we could have expected.

>> there's a graveyard of start ups that fizzled and died. why do you think it worked?

>> what we wanted to focus on solving people's problems. they wanted to share their photos quickly and they wanted them to be beautiful and we focused on those things and it went well.

>> a lot of people talk about mark zuckerberg when they talk about you. it's a good comparison. is he a mentor or friend? do you look at how he handled this success at a young age?

>> well, the best friends are mentors. we get along very well and the relationship is very much cofounders of different companies and we give each other a lot of advice and it's good to have someone that's been through this as well.

>> i wondered what the most commonly photographed thing was. i had some guesses, sunset, animals --

>> dogs.

>> in your case?

>> definitely food.

>> food.

>> my personality is something like a balance of art and science and i think that food tends to be the blend of those two and that's why i love documenting it where ever i go on my business travel .

>> we have also seen with instagram it become part of the news. documenting the news. sometimes making news. we saw syria's president joined instagram in the heat of everything going on there. a couple of weeks ago rihanna took a picture with exotic animals. two people ended up getting arrested. was it your hope and ambition that it would shape world events and become part of world events?

>> the first day we launched instagram 25,000 people signed up and i said i think we've created something bigger than we think and it's been amazing to watch the ride because, like you said, these things start happening and you realize it has a lot more impact.

>> do you have in your mind what the next big thing is.

>> the next big thing for instagram is discovering exploration. we have 55 million photos added daily and i want to make sure you can discover the photos most relevant to you and your interests.

>> you have accomplished so much. the ultimate status symbol is to just have your name, @kevin on your instagram page.

>> it helps to be the first one to sign up.

>> there's someone that has a name, @dolly.

>> she is still with her brothers and sisters but we're excited.

>> she must know somebody. he's