Instagram overtakes Twitter, hitting 300 million users

This piece (written by Sarah Homewood) was published recently in AdNews. 

In just over four years Instagram has reached the 300 million user mark globally, making the social network bigger than Twitter.

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Twitter has 284 million active users accessing the service, putting it just behind the Facebook owned photo and video sharing network. Facebook still trumps them both however, with a staggering 1.35 billion monthly active users as of September 2014.

In an announcement on its blog, Kevin Systrom CEO of Instagram recognised the milestone saying: “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day.

“Instagram is home to creativity in all of its forms, a place where you can find everything from images of the Nile River to the newest look from Herschel Supply or a peek inside the mind of Taylor Swift.
“We’re thrilled to watch this community thrive and witness the amazing connections people make over shared passions and journeys.”

Systrom also announced that like its social stable mate Facebook, the site would be rolling out verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, making it easier for users to know that they are connecting with the authentic accounts.

He also said that as the social network continues to grow that keeping the site authentic is “critical”.

“Instagram is a place where real people share real moments. We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web, and that’s why we’re finishing up some important work that began earlier this year.

“We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts. This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.”

Earlier this year the network opened itself up the advertisers with Ben & Jerry’s, McDonald’s and Vegemite, being the first Australian advertisers to launch paid ads on Instagram.

Paid ads look almost identical to organic posts, with the addition of the “sponsored” tag on the top right corner. Meaning advertisers could for the first time target users based on age and gender with paid ad content appearing to users who do not follow them.

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