Instagram, the mobile photo and video sharing network that launched in October 2010 took 19 months to chalk-up 50 million users. The next 50 million users came in a mere nine months, thanks to the launch of Android version of the app. Six months later, Instagram says that it has surpassed the 150 million user mark. “Now more than 60% of you are from outside the United States,” the company noted on its blog.
If Instagram continues to sign-up people at this pace, it will soon race past 200 million users. (Incidentally, Twitter in the past has said that it has 200 million users, though we have heard that the overall count is much higher these days.)
Instagram’s growth is reflective of an increasing use of smartphones over regular feature phones. The Android juggernaut in overseas markets is one of the reasons of sharp acceleration in Instagram’s growth. According to GigaOM Research ”shipments of smartphones will grow 40 percent in 2013 to over 975 million, and grow at a rate of over 20 percent compounded annually through 2017. Smartphone shipments will increase 5 percent in 2013 to 160 million, then continue at a CAGR of 5.5 percent through 2017.”
The launch of iPhone with higher quality cameras, wireless broadband, a nascent app economy and a sharp increase in the post-Facebook Internet users created a perfect storm — and Instagram showed up at the right time — obviously with the right product.
PS: You can follow me on Instagram (if you don’t) at Instagram.com/om. Also, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom will be a featured speaker at our RoadMap conference, scheduled to be held on November 5 & 6 in San Francisco.