Instagram started off as a simple idea, and though it's grown in capabilities over time, it still at heart a photo (and video) sharing app. There's a certain charm in its simplicity, which is why it's not hard to believe that there are now more than 300 million people using Instagram who collectively share tens of millions of photos and videos each and every day.
"Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day. Instagram is home to creativity in all of its forms, a place where you can find everything from images of the Nile River to the newest look from Herschel Supply or a peek inside the mind of Taylor Swift," Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom stated in a blog post.
To put that number into perspective, Instagram now has more users than Twitter, one of the planet's most popular social sites with 284 million active users. Nine months ago, Instagram couldn't boast that feat -- it had just crossed 200 million users.
Of course, Facebook sits at the top of the social heap with 1.35 billion users, though Instagram has a shot at catching up with popular services like Messenger (500 million) and WhatsApp (600 million). Do note that all of these services, including Instagram, are owned by Facebook -- it seems like whatever Mark Zuckerberg and the gang touch turns to gold.
To keep things honest, Instagram has been deactivating spam accounts on an ongoing basis. This not only makes the overall experience better, it also adds a greater level of authenticity to its active user claims.
As stated, the service is also evolving. Last month, it added a People tab on the Explore page to highlight interesting accounts to follow, while also improving its search function. And this month, it's adding verified badges for celebrities, athletes, and brands, which will start rolling out "over the coming days."