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article imageInstagram passes 700 million active global users

By James Walker     Apr 26, 2017 in Technology
Instagram has reached the 700 million users mark, another major milestone for the still rapidly growing app. It comes just a couple of weeks after the number of people using the app's Stories feature sailed well beyond rival Snapchat's entire audience.
Instagram announced its latest achievement in a blog post today. Having reached 600 million users back in December, the platform has seen a major increase in users in the first quarter of 2017. With 100 million more people having joined up in less than four months, Instagram seems to be on track to reach the 1 billion mark relatively soon.
Instagram said it is "thrilled" to have reached 700 million people. As one of the fastest growing social media platforms, Instagram is unusual in being able to keep its graphs heading upwards as while rivals lie stagnant. With parent company Facebook amongst the firms struggling to reach new people, Instagram is increasingly becoming the most buoyant major platform.
The progress has been enabled by the onslaught of features Instagram has released over the past few months. While most have been taken from its rivals, the lack of innovation hasn't affected their adoption by users. The strategy has worked and more people are now using Instagram than ever. It may have lost its focus as a photography platform but is demonstrating it can succeed as a wider social community.
"We've made it even easier for people across the globe to join the Instagram community, share their experiences and strengthen connections to their friends and passions," said Instagram. "With new features like stories, live video and disappearing messages in Direct, people now have more ways than ever to express themselves and feel closer to what matters to them."
Around 400 million people now visit Instagram every day. Rather than alienate or frustrate existing customers by adding bold new features, the company's approach seems to be having the opposite effect. The launch of Stories, Direct, Collections and live video has only served to increase the company's momentum and let it continue to grow at a rate far beyond Snapchat's reach.
According to Instagram founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, the platform's exceptionally rapid growth from 600 million to 700 million users came largely from eliminating common user grievances. Systrom explained to the New York Times how analysis of problem areas has enabled the company to offer its service to a wider audience.
Systrom is also confident Instagram can grow much larger yet. Already on track to pass 1 billion users without facing too many issues, the company's CEO expects the service will eventually scale to 1.5 billion or beyond.
"My favorite thing to ask the team is, how large do you think Instagram will be eventually? Usually you get to some large number, and it's definitely more than two times the size we are now," said Systrom to the New York Times. "I can confidently say that most of the people who'll eventually use Instagram don’t use Instagram now."
With Instagram continuing to pursue its rapid growth and development strategies, it's probable the 800 million users mark will be reached before the end of the summer. The company may have been criticised for pulling apart Snapchat with its new headline features but it's now clear the plan has seen more success than Instagram's critics would suggest.
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