Iconosquare (previously Statigram) is the original Instagram analytics platform. In 2011, Founder Jerome Boudot used the Instagram API to build a single page for tracking KPIs, like follower growth and top followers. CEO Romain Ouzeau explains:
“We knew Instagram was cool, but it didn’t have the analytics. We’re both passionate about data so when they released the API, we decided to see what we could do. It started with just 5 KPIs but we had thousands of users after just a couple of days.”
By 2014, millions of users (both brands and individuals) were using the platform to track their social media performance.
But when Instagram made changes to the API and introduced conditions about the naming of companies it worked with, Statigram had to rethink it’s monetization strategy.
As a result, Iconosquare was born: Romain says:
“The changes to Instagram’s API meant we couldn’t keep monetizing users through ads on the desktop app so we needed to move to a better, more sustainable strategy, which for us meant pivoting to paid SaaS.”
Moving to a paid subscription model was a big change for Iconosquare and something that Romain admits was hard to get right:
“We worked hard to make sure our technology could accommodate the SaaS model but we didn’t get the strategy right with our customers. We had to backtrack and try again.
“When we reintroduced paid plans, we kept the free version and started the ‘pro’ offering at $1. This gave us time to build out the pro version, incrementally raising the price as we started to target business customers. Our starting price now is $29.”
In setting up a billing stack in the early days of the company, the objective had been to “just have something that worked”. However, after a few years, Romain wanted to optimize these processes as he started to think about other ways of generating revenue. He explains:
“We had always focussed on acquisition but it was getting more expensive. As a bootstrapped business, we couldn’t keep spending the money that way. So, we decided to focus on monetization and increasing revenue through activation and upsells.”
With Iconosquare’s existing setup, building new plans or making changes to the billing process required support from developers:
“It was very technical and the reliance on the development team made us reluctant to change anything. We had been contacted by a few payment providers so decided to look at the options.”