Facebook definitely recognized the growth opportunities in Instagram when it bought the company for $1 billion in stock and cash back in 2012. First launched as an iPhone app in 2010, the service had 50 million monthly active users by September 2011. By December 2014, that number had ballooned to 300 million. And today, Instagram has announced that it has over 500 million users worldwide.
Of those 500 million monthly active users, over 300 million are active on a daily basis and 80 percent of its user base comes from outside the United States (this metric stood at 75 percent in September). Instagram says that over 95 million photos and video are shared on the app daily, garnering over 4.2 billion likes from its users.
“You’ve made Instagram a place where the everyday and the epic are always within reach,” said Instagram in a statement. “Thank you for your creativity, your openness and your passion for sharing your worlds with one another. We can’t wait to see what you create next.”
While Instagram still has a ways go before it can join the “billion-user” ranks with Facebook and WhatsApp (another Facebook property), it has far outpaced Twitter, which stands at 310 million monthly active users and has been in somewhat of a downward spiral in recent months.
Facebook has truly expanding its mobile footprint in recent years with WhatsApp and Instagram serving a perfect side dishes for the its main course: Facebook. Toss in Facebook Messenger, which recently surpassed the 900 million user mark in April, Facebook is greatly expanding its advertising reach and is resonating with a broad range of users globally.
While Facebook has some of the hottest mobile properties in the web, it still it trying to chase down a hot competitor. Facebook attempted to buy Snapchat for $1 billion nearly three years ago before upping the offer to $3 billion. Snapchat rebuffed both offers. The company could soon be valued at over $20 billion and has over 100 million active daily users.