Instagram is touting the success of its recent stream of updates as an important factor in helping it snap up an additional 100 million users over the past six months. As a result, Facebook’s photo-sharing platform now has a total user base of 600 million.
That’s almost double the amount of users Twitter currently has (317 million). Although, Snapchat is a better comparison, considering the similar features the two now boast — especially since Instagram started cloning its younger rival’s sharing functions — the temporal messaging app has thus far only disclosed its daily active users, which at last count stood at 150 million. Instagram, on the other hand, boasts 300 million daily users. This time round, however, it did not disclose if those figures received a bump, instead focusing on its monthly active user base.
So, what’s behind the continuing interest in the photo-sharing app? According to Instagram: “a lot has changed this year … with more ways to share than ever before.” Chief among the social-sharing updates the company has released in 2016 was its infamous take on Snapchat’s Stories feature, allowing users to share slideshow-style collections of disappearing images and videos. The platform revealed in October that Stories had quickly amassed 100 million daily views. The figure sounds impressive, but comprised just one-fifth of Instagram’s total user base (now one-sixth) and one-third of its daily user base. Overall, it remains unclear if Stories (as a general sharing function) is versatile enough to make the jump to other platforms.
Instagram also brought temporal sharing to its direct messaging function. Most recently, Instagram took after its parent company and rolled out live video, it also borrowed from Pinterest by adding a photo bookmarking function. And that’s not to mention the comment control and safety tools it announced at the start of this month.
Finally, Instagram gave an indication of its future monetization prospects with a new shopping feature that allowed select companies to sell their products within its app.
With that kind of variety, it’s no wonder tens of millions of additional users are joining the app on a monthly basis. At this rate, it’s only a matter of time till it ends up joining Facebook’s other properties (such as WhatsApp, Messenger, and its flagship social network) in the billion user club.