It always seems to be a big deal when a certain online service or mobile app reaches a record number of users counted from since they launched. Everybody remembers the furor caused by the blockbuster debut of Nintendo and Niantic’s “Pokémon Go” when for a moment in time it eclipsed the user base of other, more conventional and multipurpose apps and online services around. It makes the app in question a big deal major player, one that’s worth investing in – or if the firm is still small and one’s pockets are deep enough, acquiring – to earn some sick amount of revenue returns.
Come Thursday December 15, Instagram joined that illustrious club of widely-used apps. USA Today has it that the former independent company and now Facebook subsidiary has gone across the 600 million user mark for their photo-sharing app. The amazing part is that 100 million of these users only joined up in the past six months, a jump of user base that’s plenty significant in its increase. Not bad for an app service that had only 30 million active users when FB snapped it up in 2012 for a billion dollars. Judging from the leap to 100+ million users 2013, then 300+ million for 2014, and 500 million by June 2016, its parent company made the right call.
Instagram has also become the latest in Facebook’s lineup of peripheral and auxiliary app services to zoom across the half a billion user mark, thus bringing it closer to the main FB social network itself, and other extra messaging apps like WhatsApp and the ubiquitous Facebook Messenger which is now used by over a billion people around the world.
The increase in numbers for Instagram users is a result of FB’s push to have the photo-sharing service become the parent company’s silver bullet against the current dominance of rival photo app Snapchat from Snap Inc., another firm that Zuckerberg’s giant wasn’t able to snag into its social media empire, even after a $3 billion offer in 2013, thrice that for Instagram.
November has seen the introduction of several new features and options in the Instagram service that compete directly against what Snapchat can already do. Some of these are the “Stories” option and Instagram Direct that sends messages directly to specific friends that are expunged immediately after viewing. On Snapchat’s end, its company of Snap Inc. in bracing to go public in 2017, with an IPO that values them at $25 billion. For the moment Snapchat and Instagram are slugging it out to have the most millenials using them in their phones and tablets.
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