In its fastest growth period recorded thus far, Instagram just grew to 800 million monthly users, up from 700 million earlier this April. It represents a growth of 100 million users in just four to five months, a staggering achievement that'll likely put Instagram closer to Facebook in terms of total number of users.
Facebook, of course, is happy. It owns Instagram and has been making a lot of changes — cough, copying Snapchat, cough — to make sure Instagram stays relevant and expands beyond its photo-sharing brand. It brought Instagram Stories, virtually similar to Snaps, to the app fairly recently, allowing people to document their lives and share them in short bursts of content. The app has improved as a platform for live broadcasts as well, giving artists, musicians, and other common folk a chance to connect with people.
Carolyn Everson, Facebook's VP of marketing solutions, confirmed the figures during an Advertising Week Presentation on Monday, Sept. 25, adding that more than 500 million people use Instagram on a daily basis.
Instagram As A Video Platform
"Instagram is the largest global community of people that has ever been created around a set of passions," she said. "People on Instagram follow people they know and many follow people they don't know. They follow businesses, they follow passions and they create communities out of that."
Here's what expanding its brand means, as mentioned above: video, for one, has become a key player in Instagram's massive growth, with video production having quadrupled over the past year, according to Everson. Watching video has also grown to 80 percent year-over-year. In addition, over 250 million use Stories now, and the looping GIF format, Boomerang, has also been a hit, making up 25 percent of all Stories.
Instagram also told TechCrunch that it now has 2 million advertisers, up from a million in March, yet another staggering growth. The numbers above should make anyone investing in Instagram as a platform ecstatic, but Instagram's growth seem inversely proportional to Snapchat, as in Instagram's growth is a bane for Snapchat, especially since Facebook's many attempts to copy the photo-messaging app has caused a hostile competition between the two services.
What Instagram's Growth Means For Snapchat
In the end, it seems users are more likely to stick to one app than use two of the same. If Instagram Stories is working perfectly, then why continue using Snapchat? They're basically the same thing anyway. This presents a problem for Snapchat, and it'll need all the help it can get to offer a different experience, something essential that'll convince people to detach from Stories and start flocking to Snapchat again.
The numbers, however, show that Instagram is a force to be reckoned with, and its growth doesn't seem to be stopping.