July 27, 2012
Instagram Swells To 80 Million Users And 4 Billion Photos
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Seems like it was just yesterday that everyone´s favorite iOS only photo-sharing app had reached 30 million active users. Then, as often happens in situations like these, Instagram decided to spread their wings and head towards more fragmented skies, landing in the Google Play app store for Android devices.
These Droid X and One X and Razr Maxx users were apparently quite anxious to start sharing their own vintage filtered photos with the world, as the app was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 24 hours of availability in the Android app store. Not long after, Facebook announced they would acquire Instagram for only $1 billion.
Yes, Instagram has come a long way in less than 2 years, and today they´re announcing yet another milestone in their short timeline: there are now 80 million Instagram users the world over, shooting a cumulative 4 billion filtered photos of food, cats and city skylines.
Ever modest, the Instagram team notes that they´ve seen pictures from South Korea, Bolivia and even underwater, before thanking their blossoming community of photographers.
“We´re humbled by the amazing photos from people´s lives we see every day on Instagram, and thank you for being part of this growing community.”
Simple math tells us that Instagram has been able to add nearly 50 million users since they brought their app to the Android platform in early April. While it´s not likely these extra 50 million are all Android users, Instagram creator Kevin Systrom isn´t completely dismissing the “Android effect” on their numbers.
“The combination of Android and network effects as more people use Instagram mean that we´re able to grow faster now more than ever,” said Systrom in an interview with Venture Beat.
Instagram isn´t yet content with their new level of success, however, as Systrom told Venture Beat that the photo app still has “some pretty fun things in the pipeline.”
Of course, you can´t mention Instagram without mentioning their new owners. It´s likely Instagram´s announcement shined brighter than Facebook´s first ever earnings call as they struggle once again to meet their investors´ expectations. Revenue growth shrank while costs grew for the fifth quarter in a row, prompting their investors to send Facebook shares down by 10% in after hours trading. At the time of this writing, shares of FB are trading below $30, marking some of FB´s lowest performance since its overhyped IPO in May.
The company took huge losses as they paid out their employees with stock from the IPO. Their revenue was up 32% from the last quarter– from $895 million to $1.18 billion– however this quarter marks the slowest revenue growth since at least early 2011 when the social networking site was doubling the amount of money they brought in from advertising.
Interesting, then, that for all of Facebook´s moves to become mobile, it´s this very platform which is reducing their revenue. Facebook is more likely to sell their ads on their desktop version of the site, and as more people are accessing their profiles on mobile devices, Facebook is losing some money making opportunities.
It´s also interesting, then, that many have assumed Facebook bought Instagram as a way to bolster their mobile offerings in order to make themselves more attractive to potential investors ahead of their largely disappointing IPO.