The Evolution of Instagram and the Power of Note-Making with Obsidian



Aug 06, 20233 min read


The Evolution of Instagram and the Power of Note-Making with Obsidian


In this article, we will explore the evolution of Instagram and the power of note-making with Obsidian. Both platforms have undergone significant changes and have become essential tools for users in different ways. We will discuss how Instagram transitioned from a small location-sharing app to a platform focused on creators, video, shopping, and messaging. Additionally, we will delve into the concept of note-making and the customizable features of Obsidian that make it a powerful tool for organizing and sharing thoughts and ideas.

Instagram's Evolution:

Instagram began as a location-sharing app called Bourbon. Its founders, two entrepreneurs unsure of their next steps, realized the need for something new and created Instagram out of Bourbon. Initially, Instagram was not solely a photo-sharing app but rather a photo-filter app aimed at enhancing the quality of photos taken with early iPhone cameras. The app allowed users to share their photos on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but Instagram's own network quickly became the preferred platform. It utilized the Twitter graph to help users discover and follow the people they already followed on Twitter.

Over time, Instagram recognized the importance of visual imagery and expanded beyond just photos. It introduced video as the next evolution, driven by the growth of video content online. The platform also acknowledged the shift in commerce from offline to online, accelerated by the pandemic, and aimed to capitalize on the trend. Additionally, Instagram adapted to the changing ways people connect with their close friends by focusing on messaging rather than feed and stories products.

The Importance of Entertainment:

Research shows that the number one reason people use Instagram is for entertainment. This realization prompted Instagram to experiment more with recommendations and show users content they may not be following yet. By providing entertaining content, Instagram aims to keep users engaged and satisfied with their experience on the platform.

Obsidian and the Power of Note-Making:

Obsidian, on the other hand, is a note-making platform that draws inspiration from the extensibility of code editors. The founders of Obsidian aimed to create a customizable and adaptable platform for note-taking, similar to how users can customize code editors like Visual Studio Code. They developed a plugin system that allows users to turn off features they don't need and personalize their note-taking experience.

Obsidian started its private beta through Discord, utilizing the platform for distributing early versions and gathering direct feedback from users. As the community grew, the limitations of Discord became apparent, leading to the creation of a forum for better organization and discussion of topics. Obsidian's goal is to be an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for thought, providing users with a functional and extensible front-end for their notes.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. For Instagram users: Embrace the evolving features of Instagram, such as video, shopping, and messaging. Explore the "recommendations" section to discover new content and find entertainment tailored to your interests.
  • 2. For Obsidian users: Take advantage of the customizable features in Obsidian to create a personalized note-taking experience. Experiment with different plugins and tailor your digital garden of thoughts to suit your needs.
  • 3. For entrepreneurs and app developers: Learn from Instagram's evolution and the power of customization in Obsidian. Consider how you can adapt and evolve your own products to meet the changing needs and preferences of your users.


Both Instagram and Obsidian have undergone significant transformations to meet the evolving demands of their respective user bases. Instagram shifted from a location-sharing app to a platform focused on creators, video, shopping, and messaging. Obsidian, inspired by code editors, offers users the power to customize their note-taking experience. By understanding and embracing these transformations, users can make the most of these platforms and find new ways to enhance their digital experiences.


  1. "Instagram’s Evolution", (Glasp)
  2. "Exploring the power of note-making with the co-founder of Obsidian", (Glasp)

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