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Instagram snaps up 400m users, 40 billion photos and videos

Instagram landscape update

The Facebook-owned image sharing platform has hit the 400 million user milestone

Instagram, or ‘IG’ to the young folk, is a rather popular image and video sharing platform. So much so it got bought by Facebook back in 2012 for a cool $1bn. Facebook is probably thinking that was a pretty sound investment as Instagram just announced it has hit 400 million users in a blog post. That eclipses Twitter in userbase, helped in part by prominent brands such as Disney using the service as a promotional platform, such as in the build-up to the new Star Wars Force Awakens movie.

Recent moves by Instagram have also made the platform a more interesting prospect for advertisers with the introduction of adverts in timelines and a move away from the enforced square crop by allowing portrait and landscape content. The latter in particular makes for a better experience when sharing video content such as movie trailers. 

Interestingly, Instagram says that 75 per cent of its users live outside of the United States. Of the most recent 100 million to join, more than half have been in Europe and Asia, showing these are new regions for growth for the  platform. Brazil, Japan and Indonesia in particular have been particularly taken by content sharing (read: taking photos of their food). Proof that popular people aren’t always the first to jump on the bandwagon, the likes of David Beckham were also in the last 100 million to join the service. Those 400m users have now shared an incredible 40 billion photos and videos.

The rate of growth for Twitter has been above forecasts, too, with it being only nine months ago that it reached 300m users. Twitter, on the other hand, has been considerably more stagnant when it comes to growth. It was reported earlier in the year the service was at around 316m users and growth was slowing down. Twitter also annoyed some users in the past by controversially removing the automatic embedding of Instagram images into tweets. Instead a link is tweeted taking you to the Instagram service. Fortunately there is a way around this using IFTTT recipes to automatically tweet your Instagram images with an embedded image.

If you’re only just joining Instagram now, be sure to read our guide to help get you started: How to use Instagram – everything you need to know

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