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Who owns Instagram?

Who owns Instagram?
Nemanja Curcic

Instagram is a massively popular social media platform that allows users to upload photos and videos, record live content, edit it, and share it publicly or with followers. Exerting huge influence and shaping trends in fashion, aesthetics, and lifestyle, it serves as a creativity and business hub for billions of people worldwide. Today’s article will uncover who owns Instagram and how it’s connected to Meta (NASDAQ: META), its parent company.

Who owns Instagram?

Engaging an audience of more than 2 billion monthly active users as of 2024, Instagram is the third largest social media platform, trailing Facebook and YouTube and vying for the same spot with WhatsApp.

Instagram is owned by Meta Platforms, Inc. (Formerly Facebook, Inc.), which also owns Facebook, WhatsApp, and Threads.

What is today Instagram began as Burbn. It was developed and launched by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010. Initially a mobile check-in app, it was redesigned to focus on sharing photos since the developers realized their product was too similar to Foursquare. Afterward, the app was renamed to Instagram, the name which combines “instant camera” and “telegram.” 

Fun fact: The first Instagram post is a photo of South Beach harbor posted by Mike Krieger on July 16, 2010.

By February 2011, Instagram had raised $7 million in Series A funding. In early April 2012, Instagram released the app for Android, and the app was downloaded more than a million times in a single day. At the same time, the company was valued at $500 million.

On April 9, 2012, Facebook, Inc. (today Meta Platforms) initiated a deal to acquire Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock, approximately a month before it had its own initial public offering (IPO). The purchase was finalized by September 6, 2012.

Recommended video: Why Facebook bought Instagram

About Instagram

Today, Instagram is owned by Meta Platforms and remains one of its signature brands. Centered around images and videos, it supports iOS, Android, Windows 10, and online web browsers. It is highly integrated with Facebook. Instagram is available in 32 major languages.

About Meta Platforms

Meta Platforms, Inc. is a leading technology company and a dominant market player. It owns some of the world’s most popular social media brands, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Threads. In addition to its social media platforms, it possesses various assets and projects in artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), and consumer electronics.

What started as a university project envisioned by Mark Zuckerberg as an online “face book” for Harvard students rapidly transformed into one of the world’s most recognizable digital brands. Meta Platforms started as TheFacebook in 2004 (rebranded as Facebook in 2005). Facebook, Inc. went public through an IPO on May 18, 2012.

The Facebook company rebranded itself as Meta in 2021. Widening the company’s scope beyond its popular website, the “new” brand aimed to incorporate Web3 and “Internet 3.0” and evolve “beyond the physical world of social media.” Despite it branching out into virtual and augmented reality, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence, the company’s primary source of revenue (97.8% in 2023) is social media advertising.

Recommended video: Introducing Meta

Meta Platforms’ stock is a component of the Nasdaq-100, S&P 100, and S&P 500 indices. It trades on the NASDAQ under the META ticker.

Who is the real owner of Instagram?

Meta Platforms, Inc., is a publicly traded company. Therefore, no single individual, group, or company can be called its sole real owner. That said, there are individuals and groups with a significant stake in Meta, primarily Mark Zuckerberg, its founder and CEO.

Apart from Zuckerberg, a couple of individual insider shareholders have a significant number of Meta shares. These include Michael Schroepfer and David Fischer.

When it comes to institutional shareholders, Meta Platforms is a global behemoth with thousands of companies holding its shares. However, the largest three of these include Vanguard Group, BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), and Fidelity Investments (formerly FMR).

Largest individual insider shareholders

Individual insider shareholders are persons with direct ownership of the company’s stock. Each time an insider purchases or sells a significant number of shares, they need to fill out and submit an SEC Form 4.

Individual shareholder Shares held % of total shares
Mark Zuckerberg 349,200,895 13.6%
Michael Schroepfer 630,612 0.02%
David Fischer 36,272 <0.01%
Who owns Meta: The company’s largest individual shareholders as of April 16, 2024

Is Mark Zuckerberg the owner of Instagram?

Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Meta. With his massive net worth of $175.4 billion (as of April 16, 2024), he is the fourth-richest person in the world. Practically his entire wealth comes from his stake in Meta. He owns 349,200,895 shares of the company or 13.6% of its commonly held stock.

Who owns Instagram: Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, the largest individual owner of Instagram.

Zuckerberg initiated Facebook with his roommates back in 2004. Starting as a Harvard-only college campus project, the app reached its first billion users in 2012. In 2007, Zuckerberg was awarded the title of the youngest self-made billionaire at age 23. He was mentioned in Time’s list of most influential people in the world four times and received its title of the Person of the Year in 2010. He is commonly associated with Facebook and Meta Platforms and remains the company’s leading figure. 

Michael Schroepfer

Based on information from the latest SEC Form 4, Michael Schroepfer owns 630,612 shares in Meta Platforms, the owner of Instagram, or approximately 0.02% of the company’s shares.

Mike Schroepfer got onboard Facebook (now Meta Platforms) in 2008 and became its Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in 2013. He held the position until 2022 when he stepped down, but remained a Senior Fellow. Prior to his role at Facebook, he was vice president of engineering at Mozilla Corporation.

David Fischer

Although by far smaller than Zuckerberg’s and Schroepfer’s positions (less than 0.01% of META shares), Fischer still holds a considerable stake in the company, or 36,272 Meta shares

David Fischer joined Facebook in 2010 and served as Meta’s Chief Revenue Officer until November 2021. Before Facebook (now Meta), he acted as the vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).

Largest Institutional Shareholders

According to Yahoo Finance, institutional investors hold about 79.64% of Meta’s total shares, and there are 4,748 various institutions holding a non-negligible number of shares. The three largest among them are Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and Fidelity Investments.

Institutional shareholder Shares held % of total shares
Vanguard Group, Inc. 186,349,346 8.47%
BlackRock, Inc. 157,506,624 7.16%
Fidelity Investments 133,692,511 6.08%
Who owns Meta: The company’s largest institutional shareholders as of April 16, 2024

Vanguard Group

Vanguard Group, Inc. owns 186,349,346 shares, or a total of 8.47% of total META shares, according to an SEC report on December 30, 2023.

Vanguard Group is among the leading investment companies and mutual fund and ETF managers in the world, managing approximately $8.6 trillion in global assets as of April 2024. META was the sixth largest holding in the investor’s portfolio, with 1.44% of Vanguard’s total assets comprised of Meta’s stock.


BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) owns 157,506,624 shares of Meta, or 7.16% of all shares, as mentioned in its Q4 2023 SEC report.

BlackRock is the world’s single largest investment company and asset manager, with $10 trillion in assets under management at the end of 2023. Headquartered in New York City, it holds offices around the globe and operates in more than 100 countries. In addition to Vanguard and State Street, it is a member of the Big Three index fund managers.

Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments, renamed from Fidelity Management & Research (FMR), has 133,692,511 shares of Meta, or 6.08% of total META shares, according to the most recent SEC report.

FMR is a global financial company with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Its assets under management are valued at $4.9 trillion, and it holds $12.6 trillion in assets under administration. Fidelity Investments has various departments, including a brokerage firm, manages mutual funds, and offers various business and investing services. 

Meta’s stock performance

According to our research, Meta’s stock has soared more than 400% since October 2022, when it was at a humble price of $88.

Disproving the public’s skepticism over its focus on Web3, blockchain, and the Metaverse, Meta Platforms performed reasonably well in 2023 but achieved stellar success in Q1 2024. In fact, its stock skyrocketed to become the second-best performing S&P 500 index component, behind Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) only.

Meta’s last 2023 earnings report brought much-needed reassurance to investors. The company outperformed Wall Street expectations by nearly $1 billion to report $40.1 billion, which represented a 25% year-to-year increase. Furthermore, Meta introduced a quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share, which was a surprise move from one of the Big Five American tech companies.

Meta stock price today

As of publication, Meta stock price stands at $501.48, which represents a 42.42% year-to-date increase.

Who owns Instagram – the bottom line

At the time Facebook acquired Instagram, the company had only 13 employees and worked out of a conference room with no office furniture. In spite of their humble facilities, Instagram concocted something that would grow to gather hundred of thousands, then millions, then billions of users. Today, Instagram is a vital component of the Meta Platforms’ portfolio.

Since the app is owned by Meta, the owners of Instagram are indirectly the owners of Meta Platforms. As such, the person with the “largest stake” in Instagram is Mark Zuckerberg, followed by Michael Schroepfer and David Fischer, and the largest institutional shareholders are Vanguard, BlackRock, and Fidelity Investments.

In fact, by buying Meta shares, you can acquire and become a partial owner of Instagram. If you decide to try your investor’s luck with that move, however, make sure you do your own research before investing.

Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

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