Instagram Muscles Past Twitter With 400 Million Active Monthly Users

Facebook threw Wall Street for a loop when it acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012. The move came just ahead of Facebook’s IPO, but ultimately had little negative impact on Facebook’s efforts to go public. The service briefly drew some unwanted attention later in the year for a change to its terms of service that was meant to attract advertisers, but its popularity has nonetheless soared over the past few years. This week, Instagram announced that it has grown to a “community” of more than 400 million users. What some feared was a rash decision on the part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has turned out to be massive success.

Many of the more recent Instagram sign-ups are coming from outside the United States. “Our community has evolved to be even more global, with more than 75 percent living outside of the US,” Instagram wrote in its blog post. “To all the new Instagrammers: welcome! Among the last 100 million to join, more than half live in Europe and Asia. The countries that added the most instagrammers include Brazil, Japan and Indonesia.”

Instagram took the opportunity to point out a few celebrities using Instagram, including German soccer player Toni Kroos and the U.K.’s David Beckham.

Instagram screenshot

Assuming that Instagram is referring to its monthly active users, reaching the 400 million mark means that it has surpassed Twitter by a wide margin. Twitter, which displays statistics related to its usage on its website, pegs its own monthly active users at 316 million users. Like Instagram, Twitter has found a large following outside of the U.S. As of June of this year, it estimated that 77 percent of its accounts were in other countries.

Instagram’s announcement comes at an important time for Facebook which recently added photo and video ads to Instagram. Analysts expect Instagram to be a significant source of revenue for Facebook over the course of the next several years. But even if Instagram misses analyst forecasts, Facebook will be in great shape. The company recently announced that WhatsApp, the messaging service it purchased last year, has doubled in size to 900 million users.