Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an incretin that plays important physiological roles in glucose homeostasis. Produced from intestine upon food intake, it stimulates insulin secretion and keeps pancreatic β-cells healthy and proliferating. Because of these beneficial effects, it has attracted a great deal of attention in the past decade, and an entirely new line of diabetic therapeutics has emerged based on the peptide. In addition to the therapeutic applications, GLP-1 analogs have demonstrated a potential in molecular imaging of pancreatic β-cells; this may be useful in early detection of the disease and evaluation of therapeutic interventions, including islet transplantation. In this Perspective, we focus on GLP-1 analogs for their studies on improvement of biological activities, enhancement of metabolic stability, investigation of receptor interaction, and visualization of the pancreatic islets.