The Instagram user count is on pace to hit a billion in 2018

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Instagram is closing on on user numbers in the billions. On Monday, September 25, the social media platform shared that the number of monthly active users is now at 800 million. The latest Instagram user count shows a growth of 100 million users in about four months and if that trend continues at the same pace, Instagram could hit one billion as early as 2018.

The latest numbers come from an Advertising Week presentation in New York City on September 25. Along with the growth in users that share on the platform monthly, Instagram now boasts 500 million users that are active every day.

The growth is the second time that Instagram has added 100 million monthly active users over a span of four months. In just a five-month span, Instagram has also doubled the number of advertisers, with the number now sitting at 2 million advertisers.

Instagram is still less than half of Facebook’s now two billion monthly active users but boasts a pretty fast growth rate. Instagram says that video is also rapidly expanding on the platform, with growth up 80 percent year over year just on the amount of time users spend watching videos. Now, more than four times as many videos are shared every day than the numbers from just a year ago.

The latest numbers still put Instagram ahead of Snapchat’s 173 million daily active users. Despite launching a Stories feature first, Instagram has more users who share the brief auto-play videos of their day. Stories is one of the several factors that’s believed to be helping drive Instagram’s fast-paced growth.

Since its last numbers showed 100 million fewer monthly active users, Instagram has implemented a number of updates that fine-tune the platform’s current features. Comments are easier to navigate with a threaded layout that groups replies together. Galleries no longer have to be in the square aspect ratio (though they all must have the same shape). Instagram Stories are expanding outside the app to mobile browsers. And another small change makes mutual followers easy to spot. All those updates launched after Instagram’s previous numbers were released.

While updated international data wasn’t shared in this presentation, the previous count showed that 80 percent of Instagram users reside outside of the U.S.

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