Skip to main content

How Instagram.com Works

Pete Hunt (Facebook / Instagram)
Main Stage
Portland Ballroom
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 12 ratings)

Delivering JavaScript to the client is a really hard problem. Users can enter a number of different pages in the site, you may want to share some code across multiple pages but not others for efficiency, and you need to be able to have instantaneous updates for every user interaction.

I’m going to simply dissect in great detail how the web front-end of Instagram.com is put together. This is interesting because Instagram is a modern JavaScript “single-page application” built by a team of two using open-source tools. At the same time, we had the opportunity to take advantage of everything that Facebook was able to learn building large, scalable sites.

Topics covered will include:

  • Server→client communication (Django→React), including how to optimize the initial page load
  • JavaScript, CSS and static asset packaging trade-offs and winning techniques
  • Isomorphic routing and data fetching
  • Testing
  • Our specific push process
  • Hiding unreleased features
Photo of Pete Hunt

Pete Hunt

Facebook / Instagram

Hacker at Facebook, currently leading Instagram.com web engineering. Formerly Facebook Photos and Videos lead.

Core team on http://facebook.github.io/react/ and http://github.com/facebook/huxley