Instagram Reaches 600M Users and Still Growing Fast


Screenshot of the Official Selena Gomez Instagram account

Instagram has been around almost as long as there has been an iPhone. It started slowly, but has now reached 600 million active monthly users. That is good news for the social media site, but what is even better news is that just six months ago it had 500 million monthly active users; and 9 months before that, it had 400 million monthly active users.

An active user is a person who uses an app or a website. If a user were to keep posting or looking at his account every day, he would still be counted as one person. Which means that 600 million people checked their account for the last month polled. This is different from the number of registered users who may or may not post on their account, or even open their account.

There are several things significant about this milestone. First off, is that from the data, it seems that Instagram’s growth is still booming, or accelerating. Growth is going at a faster clip. Second, Instagram has overtaken Twitter for third place in terms of being the largest social media site. Lastly, Instagram is growing in a part of the world which would help fuel its growth some more: Asia.

Selfies and Food

#dinner on Instagram

Screenshot of the official Instagram website, #dinner

Instagram was launched on iPhone in 2010, and it reached 1 million users within the year. At first, it was a strictly iOS app. However, when it released its Android app, it had 1 million new signups in one day. The main idea behind Instagram is the immediacy of sending a picture online with a caption, as something happens. This has led to millions of selfie and food pictures. Vacation pictures have never been the same again.

Instagram has been instrumental in diners asking for the WiFi password before ordering food. These are the same users who would take pictures of their plates of food before taking a bite out of it. Selfies became very popular due to Instagram. People of all stripes would take a picture of themselves in the morning while stuck in traffic and posting it on their Instagram page. Before these things became trends and fads on other social media, these were things which Instagram users were already doing for a long time.

Selfies have also fueled the sales of smartphones. Nowadays, any discussion about cellphones would also have to include the camera included in the phone, as well as how good the image capture. Instagram also brought filters to users. After a picture is taken, it can be processed in the app with the use of filters, giving it a distinctive look.

Instagram #selfie

Screenshot of the official Instagram website, #selfie

Instagram and Facebook

Instagram was bought by Facebook in April 2012. This tie-up has helped both Facebook and Instagram to develop their markets in a synergistic model. Instagram can post its pictures on Facebook, and Instagram users can more easily access Facebook. The promise of Instagram as an app and a social media was not lost on Facebook. It was one of several purchases the social media giant looked into and consummated. Buying Instagram was also one of Facebook’s most successful business deals.

Instagram and Twitter

Almost since the very beginning, Twitter and Instagram has had a bond. With the use of APIs, it is possible to automatically post on Twitter every time that you post a picture on Instagram. The short message 140 character limit of Twitter worked well with posts on Instagram.

Even after Twitter introduced its image posting capabilities, it still maintained its automation with Instagram. This is one of the things which social media is great at. Cross-posting from Instagram to Twitter is very ordinary. Sometimes it seemed that all Instagram users have Twitter accounts as well. Of course, this was not necessarily the case, although most of the popular Twitter accounts also have Instagram and Facebook accounts.

The changing face of social media showed that there are various niches which can attract users. In the case of Twitter and Instagram, they were being used in a complementary manner. With Instagram surging ahead of Twitter in terms of monthly active users, and still growing fast, Twitter would be hard put to catch up, unless they find ways to go around their self-imposed features and limitations.