Instagram showing a Timehop post in 2014. | Photo: The Verge

When Facebook made a bid to buy Instagram in 2012 for a record-setting $1 billion, many people thought Mark Zuckerberg was making a mistake.

But purchasing Instagram turned out to be one of the best tech acquisitions of all time, helping secure Facebook’s dominance in social media for years to come. It did that by quickly imprinting its influence on the famously simple photo-sharing app, adding new features that helped it grow to over 1 billion users.

This kind of change could be controversial, even internally. Case in point: some early employees resisted getting rid of Instagram’s old requirement that every photo on the app had to be square-shaped.

“It sounds so small now, but at the time, it was a sacred cow of the company,” said…

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