iphone evolution

5 of the Most Viral Apps and Their Growth Then and Now

5 of the Most Viral Apps and Their Growth Then and Now

The internet has seen an insurmountable amount of growth over the past two decades.

The image below shows the enormous increase in internet usage in multiple different regions from 1990 to 2020 and rising.

Internet Growth since 1990

Mobile app usage, in particular, has catapulted into the spotlight in recent years as companies and developers strive to meet current standards and push user experience further.

Apps are content heavy due to their integration of networking with purely visual representation and/or entertainment. This abundance of various app types has been a major contributor to their gain in popularity: ones designed to keep people informed, engaged, or even entertained can be found all around the world now that internet access is becoming far more ubiquitous than ever.

With app creators consistently pushing the creativity envelope with their creations, it’s likely app usage will only increase exponentially in the coming future.

One thing about the growth of mobile applications over the years is the drastic visual changes. Our favorite, and most viral applications (those that still exist) have grown incredibly regarding their logos, color schemes, layout, and many other visual and technological sectors.

These are 5 of our favorite, and craziest growth transformations among popular applications:


Facebook in 2004
Facebook 2004
Facebook's visual growth now in 2023
Facebook 2023

It’s clear that Facebook has undergone exponential growth over the years. Not only has their logo gone through many updates regarding size, color, and positioning, but the entire interface on which people interact looks completely different with much better quality.

In addition to the visual transformation, Facebook has seen incredible technological growth since its launch in 2004. What started out as a platform for college students to connect with each other, now boasts over 2 billion daily active users across the world. In the past 19 years, Facebook has expanded far beyond its original scope and users can now create Pages, run ads, publicize events, join groups and much more.

Additionally, over 30 million small businesses are said to be making use of at least one of its services on a regular basis. As digital marketing evolves and more people become tech-savvy, it’s certain that Facebook’s growth over the coming years will only continue to increase exponentially.


2010 and 2023 Instagram Logo Variations
Instagram growth
2010 Instagram Feed vs 2023 Instagram Feed

Instagram has certainly come a long way since it was first started in 2010. It has undergone incredible growth over the last decade, with an estimated one billion active users on the platform each month. Not only has its user base grown, but so have its features and capabilities.

For starters, the company’s logo has seen countless different versions, evolving from a virtual camera to the now instantly recognizable colorful gradient logo of today. In addition to growth in web development, Instagram also offers commercial tools for brands and businesses allowing them to advertise their products and services as well as video content sharing and sponsored advertisements.

With growth comes change and Instagram has certainly undergone full makeovers not only visually but technologically as well throughout its journey.


Snapchat growth
Snapchat’s “Friends” page in 2011 vs 2023

Snapchat has come a long way since its initial launch in 2011, as evidenced by its growth from a simple messaging app to an entire social network. One of the most notable updates was the introduction of the Snap Map in 2017, which made it possible for users to share and view their locations in real time.

Another feature was added shortly after that allowed users to stream news articles right within the app, providing quick updates on current events without having to leave or download other applications. Additionally, personal Bitmojis were added, giving each user their own customized mini-characters they could include in their messages.

Finally, the recognizable ghost logo has become iconic in pop culture, gaining recognition throughout all age groups worldwide.


Netflix then and now

Since its creation in 1997, Netflix has experienced growth and evolution in both the visuals and technological capabilities of its services. Initially, Netflix was traditionally a DVD-by-mail service provider, but it soon evolved to offer streaming services for shows and movies as well.

The original logo—a simple word mark featuring an italicized font on a plain white background—was an iconic representation of the start of streaming media. Over the years, Netflix upgraded their logo several times before landing on their current version; this includes subtle changes, such as shortening the “flix” part of their name and changing the font from italic to bolder sans serif typeface.

In addition to updating its visual aesthetic, Netflix has also transitioned into offering high quality 4K content with HDR, which offers viewers a much more immersive form of entertainment, and most importantly, it’s now a mobile application that you can download on any device.


Since Gmail was first launched in 2004, it has come a long way both visually and technologically. Initially, Gmail’s logo closely resembled the traditional envelop icon found in other email providers like Microsoft Outlook. However, over the growth of the app, their logo has become much more minimalist and modernized with a sleeker look.

In addition to changing its outward appearance, Gmail has also evolved greatly since its conception to now include features such as access to Google Apps (e.g. Calendar and Google Docs) as well as powerful search capabilities.

Even today, it continues to expand in capability through its mobile version which offers users high speed performance when managing large amounts of emails or accessing important files on-the-go. It is clear that Gmail is continuously growing and adapting in order to meet the needs of users from all around the world.

Technology is constantly changing in today’s world in many shapes and sizes. The internet has grown past expectations year after year and will continue to do so. It’s crazy to think what you could do with the tech industry, especially when it comes to mobile app development.