As Facebook keeps shattering all kinds of records on a regular basis, not many pay attention to Instagram, which is on a record-breaking run of its own. After crossing 600 million users by the end of last year, Instagram announced last week that it has one million advertisers on board – a massive achievement for the photo sharing app Facebook bought for less than a billion dollars in 2012.
According to a blog post by Instagram, the photo sharing app has more than 8 million business profiles and more than one million active advertisers using the platform, which is 800,000 more than what they had around this time last year.
Instagram’s pace of growth is nothing less than stunning. They have raced from zero to 600 million monthly active users in six years, and are well on their way to the crucial one billion mark. Facebook’s growth followed a similar pattern as the company kept doubling its active user base every few years, but Instagram’s growth is even more remarkable because, during Facebook’s early days, social media was the new cool application, and the competition wasn’t that intense as it is today.
Today, users have plenty of choices to make. They need to spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin and what not. With users spoiled for choice, unless there was massive value in the product, people would not be moving in droves towards any platform; and Instagram has proved that it offers high value.
From an advertiser’s perspective, that’s one of the pulse points of any ad platform – the amount of traffic (hopefully, targeted) it can generate for their product or service. And that’s exactly what’s happening with Instagram right now. The momentum of user growth is automatically translating into momentum in advertiser acquisition.
Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that most, if not all, of these advertisers were from Facebook’s platform originally, and will have opted in to Instagram in addition to running their Facebook ad campaigns. Still, adding 800,000 advertisers in one year is a clear indication that the photo sharing app can pull its own weight in attracting ad revenue for Facebook.
It’s safe to say that Instagram is coming of age as a serious support pillar for Facebook’s own stellar growth, and will provide an ideal fallback should the main platform’s revenue growth start to flag, as indicated by Facebook’s CFO at a recent earnings call.