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Instagram hits 150 million photos, still behind Flickr, Facebook

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In the shadow of more impressive announcements from Google about Plus’s skyrocketing user base, Instagram has released some numbers that should give pause as well. Having only launched in October of 2010, the iPhone-only app now boasts over 150 million pictures across its 7 million worldwide users. Each day these users upload 1.3 million photos; that’s about 900 photos each minute, 15 each second.

Where the free iPhone-only app goes from here remains to be seen. In June Instagram reported a user base of 5 million, signifying it may be hitting the real elbow of its growth curve; a million users per month certainly means the word is out. Founder Kevin Systrom says the company plans to expand onto Android, but also said it will focus only on mobile for now. Instagram has not disclosed whether it will expand to Blackberry and other mobile operating systems.

For perspective’s sake, it’s worth noting that while Instagram’s user base and photo catalogues are impressive in growth, it still have a long way to go before catching Flickr. Last September the photo giant reported its 5 billionth photo, and have no doubt ridden similar growth over the past year also.

And to put that number in perspective, Facebook boasted over 750 million photos uploaded just over New Year Eve this past year, roughly a sixth of Flickr’s catalogue in 24 hours (albeit, likely of far poorer, shall we say, “photographic quality”).

Instagram is showing powerful signs of life, but still has a way to go before the company is truly one of the heavy-hitters in the online photo universe.

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