Instant coffee has been around a long time. The first patent on it was granted in 1881 to Frenchman Alphonse Allais. The well known Nescafé brand was introduced in 1938. Instant coffee became a staple of the military during World War II.
Early instant coffee was made using a “spray drying” method which strips the coffee of most of its aromatic compounds. That resulted in poor flavor and coffee quality. A much better “freeze drying” process was developed after World War II that produces a much more flavorful cup of coffee.
I don’t plan to switch to instant coffee anytime, but in certain situations it may be the only option. At least with article cited above you have some recommendations for high quality instant.