Instagram, the photo and video-sharing platform owned by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), announced that it reached a major milestone - over 300 million monthly active users (MAUs). It is now bigger than Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).
Instagram Achieves Remarkable Growth
Instagram users are sharing over 70 million photos and an average of 2.5 billion "likes" every day. The social network giant's photo and video-sharing platform exceeded the 284 million MAUs of Twitter.
Instagram was launched as a photo and video sharing platform on October 2010. It was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion on April 2012. Since then, the platform's growth has been remarkable. Since March alone, it has added more than 100 million active users.
According to Instagram, 70% of its users are located outside the United States. Its users have already shared more than 30 billion photos.
Keeping Instagram Authentic Is Critical
In a blog post, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, "As Instagram gets bigger; we're focused on helping you discover photos and videos from people who you care about, whether it's a friend or your favorite musician. He also emphasized that "keeping Instagram authentic is critical" as more people join the platform.
According to him, they are committed to doing everything to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web. Systrom said they are deactivating spammy accounts on Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve the user experience. He added that they will permanently delete those accounts, and thus users will see changes in their follower count.
Systrom also announced that Instagram will be rolling out verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands over the next few days to allow users easily connect with the authentic accounts they want to follow.
Systrom: It's "Hard To Compare Instagram And Twitter"
Separately, during an exclusive interview with CNBC, Systrom said more people are joining from the fashion industry, as well as teens and people from overseas. When asked if Instagram will be able keep up with the pace of growth, he replied, "That's the big challenge for me and my team going forward."
He also said that one of his objectives for Instagram is to make it easier for people to discover content and find people to follow. "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," said Systrom.
Furthermore, Systrom emphasized that Instagram is not competing with other tech companies, but with print and TV ads. According to him, they are "selling brand advertising that shifts perception."
When asked about Instagram's achievement of surpassing Twitter in terms of MAUs, Systrom said, "I think it's hard to compare Twitter and Instagram. 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."