Many thought Instagram had reached its pinnacle when Facebook agreed to purchase Instagram for $1 billion last year. Would the social networking giant tarnish the app or would they actually have something useful to bring to the table? If you consider a substantial contribution to the overall user base to be worthwhile, then I’d say Facebook has done a good job in handling the acquisition thus far.
Instagram over the weekend revealed it now plays host to more than 150 million monthly active users – an increase of 50 million more since February. For comparison, it took the company 19 months to reach its first 50 million users on its own.
Facebook no doubt played a key role in giving the app more exposure but you may be surprised to learn where the majority of Instagram users reside – outside of the US. The social network also largely left the app unchanged in order to give CEO Kevin Systrom more time to help it grow organically.
That alone time is ticking, however, as Instagram’s director of business operations Emily White revealed plans to start selling advertising through the service as early as next year. Surprising? No, not really. When you have 150 million users, there’s got to be some way to earn revenue from them, no? But whether or not Instagram will be able to implement those ads without ticking off the community once again remains to be seen.
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