Instagram has reached over 300 million active users, a tremendous milestone for the company. Across the abundance of users, there are roughly about 70 million photos shared each day, accompanied by 2.5 billion “likes.”
Since March, the active user count for Instagram has grown over 100 million. Quite fast and quite good indeed. This also makes Instagram now more popular than Twitter; only amassing to 284 million active users a month, it’s market cap being around $23 million. Why this detail? Because Instagram was acquired by Facebook back in April 2012 for only $1 billion.
More than 70% of Instagram’s users are outside of the U.S., and across the network the users have shared over 30 billion photos.
“We’re seeing a lot of people coming in the fashion world, a lot of people coming in, in the youthful teens world, and a lot of people internationally as well,”
CEO Kevin Systrom said in an interview with CNBC. Can Instagram keep up with this change of pace? “That’s the big challenge for me and my team going forward,” he said. One way Mr. Systrom aims to do so is to make it easier than ever for people to find new content they would love and more and more people to follow to keep updated with said-content. “There are photos pouring in from everywhere in the world. If you’re interested in really eclectic topics, I guarantee you there are accounts that are related to that. So we need to make sure to connect you with the content that matters most to you.“
There is more to the announcements by Instagram than just the 300 million user marker. To help combat spam on their app, they are rolling out a verification badge to be displayed on the profiles of celebrities, athletes, brands and other user types, to help ensure the majority of users know they’re connecting with the real person behind the account. Instagram also said it was planning to remove all “spammy” accounts from the service to improve the app for everyone.
The removal of spam is required whilst Instagram ramps up in popularity and usage. Mr. Systrom said that Instagram doesn’t aim to compete with tech companies in their advertising platform (which is another major reason for the removal of the spam), but to compete against print and television ads – something you don’t really hear in the comparison of online ad competitors.
“We are selling brand advertising that shifts perceptions, for instance like Chobani,” said Systrom.
“Chobani did a really wonderful yogurt campaign on Instagram to shift perceptions away from the fact that they were just yogurt. And they had a 7 point incremental lift on shifting that perception through a brand advertisement on Instagram. That’s the type of thing you typically see in a magazine or on TV. If you look at those markets, they are very, very large. And I think that’s what we’re going after. So you can see where we’re headed.“
Though Instagram has outnumbered Twitter in active users, they still have a long while to catch up to the company in revenue terms; which was $365 million in the last quarter. “I think it’s hard to compare Twitter and Instagram,” he said. “Twitter has a more mature business. They’re public. We’ve just started monetizing. We have a lot to prove before we’re, you know, worth many billions of dollars,“
When asked if he felt like he wasted billions on the Facebook acquisition, Kevin Systrom denied, saying he doesn’t think of it that way, and that he has Facebook to thank for the intense growth of the company.
What do you think of the good news Instagram has released? Leave a comment below.