Instagram Continues Stellar Growth
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
In the expanding market of mobile apps, remaining exclusive to one platform isn´t necessarily a bad thing. After all, developing for one operating system is easier than learning several devices and will keep your overhead low. However, should you choose to expand your horizons, the pay-off could be huge…$1 billion huge.
Take Instagram, for instance. The social photo-sharing app released on iOS in October of 2010, and quickly topped the charts at the App Store. Boasting 30 million iPhone users, the small app developer announced they would begin developing for Android devices at this year´s South by Southwest Interactive Conference. Then, in April, Instagram released the Google-friendly version of their app to the hungry masses, earning them a million downloads in the first 24 hours of availability. Less than 2 weeks later, tech giant Facebook swooped in and bought the company for $1 billion in cash and stock.
Maybe we should all start writing apps for both platforms.
How well has Instagram been doing since its Android release and subsequent purchase?
According to ZDNET, there are now more than 50 million Instagrammers the world over. Instagram, however, has yet to confirm or deny these claims. The number was discovered by searching Instagram´s application programming interface, or API. If these numbers are true, then Instagram has been able to sign up an average of 5 million new users every week since they rolled out their Android app to the Google Play store.
Instagram had a sort of “perfect storm” scenario to bring about this kind of growth. For example, 30 million iPhone users can´t be wrong, and the more these iPhoneographers used Instagram´s vintage filters and social integration, the Android crowd began to cry out for their turn to try the service. With such pent up-demand, the flood gates burst open as soon as the app hit the Google Play store. Instagram was topping the charts and fronting the headlines, placing them at the forefront of the world´s attention.
Then Facebook announced they had purchased the app for $1 billion, placing Instagram on the fast-track to becoming a household name. It can now be assumed that as this rare and possibly one-time-only acquisition made big news, those who hadn´t yet joined Instagram have given it a shot.
Now, with Instagram in tow, Facebook plans to start their IPO process in a few weeks. With growth in their mobile app sign in’s announced today, Facebook will likely use these numbers from Instagram to sweeten the pot.
While there is still no official word on how many people have signed up with Instagram, Facebook may end up releasing an exact number when they finally go public.
Should these numbers be true, Instagram naysayers may have been proven wrong. Apple´s own Phil Schiller, for instance was quoted as saying Instagram had “jumped the shark” when it branched out into Google´s world. In what may have been a snarky and vindictive move, Schiller also deleted his Instagram account, saying, “Now that it has grow [sic] much larger the signal to noise ratio is different. That isn´t necessarily good or bad, it´s just not what I originally had fun with.”