Instagram announced this week that it had hit a huge milestone of 700 million users. The photo and video sharing app crossed 600 million users just a few months ago, in December 2016. Think about that, because they moved from 500 million to 600 million in six months, but it only took them another four months to hit 700 million. Talk about networking effect!
The only other company that comes to mind when you think of furious user base growth is none other than Facebook, the company that shaped our social interaction on the web and, incidentally, the parent company of Instagram after they bought it for what now seems like a bargain basement price of $1 billion.
Facebook took a very similar six months to move from 500 million to 600 million users, and then again it took six more months to hit 750 million users. At the current rate, Instagram growth should put it at 750 million users a little faster than Facebook.
For Instagram, growth is actually much more significant than what it was for Facebook in its day, even though both the platforms seem to have a similar growth trajectory, with Instagram possibly moving a little faster than Facebook.
When Facebook took the world’s imagination by storm, there weren’t many competitors that were able to provide an alternative to the service Facebook was offering. It was a new application that a lot of users around the world found really useful to connect to their friends, family, colleagues and strangers from near and far.
The Instagram growth surge does not have that advantage backing it.
Today, the average user’s time has become so much more valuable, and the competition is intense to get a share of it. We have social media applications such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn, streaming video providers such as Netflix and YouTube, and then let’s not forget the mess of messaging applications like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
All these companies are fighting to get user time on their platform. The fact that Instagram is growing so fast is testament to the value it brings to the user, because there are equally worthy opponents like Snapchat to contend with.
Despite all that, Instagram continues its record-breaking growth spree. In fact, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that Facebook may have found another Facebook for itself.