* Instagram announces user count at 700 million
* Reports indicate rapid speed of growth
* In just two years, active user count has doubled
Instagram first launched back in October of 2010 as an instant photo sharing app, intended to share photos with followers, mimicking the instant quality of a Polaroid camera (hence, the logo). Almost eight years later, the app has greatly expanded to include a variety of added features and tools, including messaging, video, moving images,and stories.
Today, it was announced that the app has reached 700 million users, with a new poll showing the user growth rate continuing to grow at an increasingly rapid pace. Instagram now has double the user count of Twitter, and it is speculated that this growth rate will persist, potentially allowing Instagram to catch up to Facebook’s impressive user base of about 1.8 billion as well.
Like Facebook, Instagram has also become a powerful marketing tool for businesses. While the app offers paid advertisements (introduced in 2015) many growing companies use the photo app to promote products on their page through alluring imagery or sponsor social influencers as a part of their marketing strategy. The profitability from Instagram marketing and well, the downright necessity of having an active presence on Instagram for businesses, may be a contributing factor to the increase in growth. In fact, a new poll shows that Instagram’s user base nearly doubled in just two years. Further, it only took six months for the app to earn its latest 100 million users between December 2016 and March 2017. This is a sharp contrast for user gain when compared to the polls conducted during the app’s infancy.
Instagram has recently made a number of efforts to monopolize the social media world as the all-in-one app of choice for users. The newly launched stories features has been called a Snapchat “copycat,” while their latest bookmarking app rivals Pinterest’s photo organizing capabilities. Instagram stories has already hit a total of 200 million active users, prevailing over Snapchat’s user base of just 161 million.
According to a spokesperson for Instagram, the rapid increase in user growth is likely attributed to a variety of factors. While the spokesperson acknowledges that the newer “stories” feature helped impact user growth and retention, she tells Tech Crunch that “Growth was driven by a number of factors, including our ability to better connect people with their friends on Instagram.” Other factors speculated to account for the rapid user increase were a more simplified sign-up process and outreach to countries other than their biggest market in the U.S.