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No stopping Instagram: App joins the billion-downloads club on Google Play

Instagram has become just the 19th app to score a billion downloads on the Google Play Store.

The rare feat seems even more remarkable when you take into account that Instagram has 500 million users in total across all operating systems. The extra downloads could therefore just be a case of repeat installs, which the Play Store likely tallies as unique downloads, according to Android Police. Nonetheless, it’s an impressive achievement by anyone’s standards.

Related: Instagram adds two new rather significant video features in quiet update

Instagram’s milestone puts its parent company Facebook heads and shoulders above its social media competitors on Android. Currently, Facebook and Instagram both have 1 billion downloads each on the Play Store. The only other social app to accomplish that goal is Google Plus, which boasts far fewer engagement numbers and, by most accountsis on its last legs. Alongside its flagship app and Instagram, Facebook’s other blockbuster Android apps include WhatsApp and Messenger.

At this stage we can merely speculate, but there may have been renewed interest in Instagram thanks to its recently launched Stories feature. The tool, which borrows Snapchat’s disappearing posts function, was introduced earlier this month to puzzled users — many of whom were simply baffled by how Instagram got away with such a clear rip-off. The gamble seems to have paid off, however, with reports claiming that brands and media companies have taken to the feature in their droves. Consequently, Instagram Stories are reportedly gaining “solid viewership figures.”

Additionally, Facebook’s dominance on mobile was cemented in its recent earnings release, with the company claiming that it now has 1.57 billion monthly active users on handsets and tablets — a yearly increase of 20 percent. It all amounts to positive news if you’re a fan of Facebook, and its various products. For everyone else, the firm’s monopoly over the mobile app market will be rather worrying.