Instagram – Behind the Technical Scenes


Today, nearly all of us are addicted to social networking sites, and we spend our quality cum quantity time on these sites. One of the very popular among them is Instagram. Instagram allows us to share photos and short videos on its platform. IG provides both websites as well as the mobile application. However, it works best on smartphones.

Features provided to user

We can capture pictures and short clips of our lives and can post them on Instagram at any time. IG provides tools for editing and shaping our posts. A number of filters are also provided to enhance the quality and color of the upload. Users can make connections with friends and family. Today around a billion users are active on Instagram, and due to its popularity, online markets are even set on Instagram. 

Working and Technology behind

Powered by Django Python, it uses Cassandra, PostgreSQL, Memcache, Redis in backend for serving to customize features to the users. With the growing popularity and user experiences, the database was also growing exponentially over time, and thus came the need for scaling the solution. Finally, engineers at IG approved PostgreSQL to be best suited for the application.

The quality team at IG draws their stack, which includes Integrated Development Environment, also called IDE, directories, libraries, and other tools depending upon the required customization. Instagram uses the Amazon cloud to host its Ubuntu server.

Development and Operations (DevOps)

From posting a picture to sharing and commenting on some posts, Instagram has a series of operations designed to provide a better experience. The technology used is so authentic that we never miss any post related to us where we are tagged in. It makes our way easier to get through the most desired uploads. Today, almost all celebrities are active on IG having millions of followers. Even people these days are buying Instagram followers to enrich their profile.

From getting notification of being tagged to being followed, here is what you need to know about the working and tech behind:

For managing media uploads to distributing tasks to specific controls for handling dedicated operations, Gearman is widely used across nodes in the application.

People tend to connect through messages as well, and here comes Celery, which handles the messaging and communication distribution. Also, it supports scheduling.

For evenly texting and messaging protocol, RabbitMQ, an open-source tool, is used, which works using AMQP. 

Activity and story feed are often used on Instagram for updating our status daily. Redis, an in-memory database stores the feeds and sessions.

With so many tools and techs running behind, using Pgbouncer to pool PostgreSQL boosts the performance on connecting with the backend web server.


With so many features and tools provided, it makes INSTAGRAM the real player of the social site, which is currently booming the online connections among friends. Not just for connection, now it is also supporting in promotions and marketing, leading to a greater reach.

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