Indeed, the thriving network just surpassed 300 million active users, who are collectively sharing more than 70 million filtered photos everyday, according to new internal figures.
Among other implications, the growth figures mean that Instagram is officially bigger than Twitter, which reported 284 million monthly active users at the end of the third quarter of the year.
Domestically, Instagram has closer to 52 million monthly users, by eMarketer’s estimate. Of those U.S. users, 78.8% are between the ages of 12 and 34.
All together, analysts say Instagram’s growing audience presents a very attractive proposition for advertisers.
“With 300 million monthly users, Instagram’s audience is becoming very attractive to marketers, especially brand advertisers, and its rapid growth will only make it more appealing,” said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst with eMarketer.
As Instagram continues to grow, content discovery is becoming an even bigger priority, according to Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram.
“We’re focused on helping you discover photos and videos from people who you care about, whether it’s a friend or your favorite musician,” Systrom explains in a new blog post.
To that end, Instagram recently launched a People tab on its Explore page, which highlights interesting accounts to follow. It also recently launched improvements to its search service.
Similar to verification services offered by Twitter and other social networks, Instagram is also rolling out verified badges for brands, celebrities and athletes. Williamson said brands should respond well to this authentication initiative.
“Instagram’s ad business is still very new and has a lot of growing up to do — for example, its targeting capabilities are still very limited,” Williamson said. “But the company's new authentication initiatives send a message to the ad community that their followers will be real entities, and that the impressions they receive will not be fakes or bots."
Trying to keep its network as clean as possible, Instagram is also working hard to deactivate “spammy” accounts.
“As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts,” Systrom said this week. “This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.”