Social media networks and mobile apps are created all the time. Most of these apps and websites are destined to fade into obscurity, but Instagram isn’t most apps. The company announced that they now have more than 300 million active users, which puts the company ahead of Twitter, which is often considered the number two social network behind Facebook.
The continued growth of Instagram, along with some new changes they plan to implement, gives business owners more reasons to start using the platform for marketing.
For those who may not know, Instagram is a free photo sharing, mobile-only app that enables its users to take photos, apply filters, and share them on other social networks. It’s like Pinterest, but with more functionality for editing photos. Everyday, more than 70 million photos are shared on Instagram. Since the service started back in 2010, they have served more than 30 billion photos.
“We’re proud to announce that there are now more than 300 million Instagrammers,” wrote CEO Kevin Systrom, in a blog post announcing the achievement. “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day. Instagram is home to creativity in all of its forms, a place where you can find everything from images of the Nile River to the newest look from Herschel Supply or a peek inside the mind of Taylor Swift.”
This achievement in active users puts Instagram ahead of Twitter and possibly LinkedIn. About two months ago, Twitter released active user figures that were around 285 million active users. LinkedIn doesn’t give monthly user data, but there are 331 million LinkedIn users in total. So unless 90 percent of LinkedIn users login in every month, Instagram tops them as well.
Instagram also used the opportunity to announce their plans for the future that will make the platform even more enjoyable for consumers to use. For example, Instagram plans to start verifying the accounts of celebrity users. Similar to what Twitter and Facebook does, Instagram plans to launch verified badges for celebrities, brands, and athletes so people don’t accidentally follow parody, tribute, or look-alike accounts. This change will make Instagram’s new Explore tab more trustworthy.
Additionally, Instagram says it now deletes spammer and fake account, which means they’ll no longer appear in follower counts. Fake accounts like these weren’t included in the 300 million count. And since such accounts will be deleted, marketers using Instagram should expect to see their fan numbers fluctuate at times.
The biggest winner in all of this Facebook, who bought Instagram back in 2012. Facebook has always had a large audience with an audience of 1.35 billion users. The latest milestone from Instagram adds to the company’s growing mobile dominance. Besides the Facebook app which is the most used app in the country, Facebook now has three standalone apps with at least 300 million users: Instagram, WhatsApp (600 million) and Facebook Messenger (500 million).
The news of Instagram’s rapid ascension is bad news for Twitter. Twitter only added around 38 million users since March while Instagram has added 100 million. Unless Twitter does more in the net year to make it’s platform more enticing to new users, marketers can expect the gap to expand.
The story-telling power of images is something that has been known for generations. By using Instagram, business owners and marketers can tell the story of their business through the power of pictures. As Instagram’s audience continues to grow, so will it’s importance for online marketers. For more information about Instagram, read this article with eight Instagram stats to instantly sway you.