Instagram's iPhone Success Story

BuildingWhen Facebook acquired Instagram earlier this month for $1 billion or so, the social network was capturing one of the fastest-growing mobile media phenoms since "Angry Birds." According to a report on the growth of the photo-sharing app from Distimo, Instagram’s rise to prominence has involved staggering growth rates. But it has not proven to be every region’s cup of tea.

Distimo reports that daily downloads of the app have increased tenfold since launch, from about 10,000 a day to 100,000 for some days in April 2012. In just the last year, March 2011 to March 2012, downloads of the app have increased sevenfold. But its viral power has actually gone up even higher. In the same period, the shares of Instagram images on Twitter went up 12x. At least for the time being, the trajectory of usage among those downloaders appears to be up.

If anything, usage is accelerating significantly just this year. When indexed together, the rate of increase in Instagram Twitter posts since May 2011 tracks closely to the growth of overall downloads. But beginning in February 2012, the number of Twitter posts from the app has risen well above the rate of downloads. When Instagram announced that it had more than 10 million users, Distimo tracked that for the first time more than 200,000 images were posted to Twitter from the photo app in a single day.  

Adoption of Instagram can be region-specific. In the U.S. iPhone market, it took only one day from the app’s release for it to become the top-ranking app in the Photography section. In Korea, it took 187 days, France 82 days, and China 58 days. For most non-U.S. nations, however, Instagram’s dominance of the photo section took less than a month from the time it was released into that market.

While Instagram has only been in the Android/Google Play market for a matter of weeks, it has risen to top app rank in only 10 days in the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada and Italy. While listed in the Photography category in iTunes, the company has categorized Instagram as a social networking app in the Google markets. 

The full Distimo report on Instagram as well as the apps that now use its APIs, is available online.

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