A recent announcement stated that popular social networking site Instagram had recently reached 100 million monthly active users. For those not in the know, Instagram is a photo-sharing social networking website launched in 2010 that allows users to take pictures, apply special digital filters to them, and distribute them through other social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The app has often been lauded as the digital equivalent to using now-extinct Polaroid cameras.
In early 2012, only a year and a half after the initial release of Instagram, the company was purchased by Facebook for a whopping $1 billion. Some suggested that this purchase was made because Instagram was succeeding in the photo-sharing business in a way that Facebook had attempted and ultimately failed at. By making this purchase and allowing Instagram to be an integral part of Facebook (though not fusing the two social networks together), Facebook and Instagram have enjoyed a nominal amount of success together.
Though it may be surprising to some that a social network is able to take off into having 100 million users in a matter of two years, this is simply the fast-paced technological world that we now live in. In fact, looking at previous major social networking websites such as Myspace and Facebook, it usually took roughly two years to report these sorts of numbers in regards to their user base. In fact, Facebook hit its first million users – and this was years before easily-accessible mobile apps and the overall popularity of social networking – in roughly ten months.
With Instagram continuing to grow, and under the wing of Facebook at that, it has clearly made itself a name as one of the most popular and resonant social networking websites of all time. Though there were recently some troubles regarding an update to the website’s terms of service, in that it was mistakenly implied that the company would be able to sell images uploaded to Instagram to outside parties, that trouble does not seem to have majorly hindered the growth of the social network. In years to come, it is likely that Instagram will see an even larger base. Unless some hot new social network knocks it out of the water like Facebook did to Myspace, that is.