Instagram's user base is booming around the globe. Revenue? That's another story. Facebook’s photo- and video-sharing application has reached 500 million monthly active users, with more than 80 percent of them located outside the United States, the company announced Tuesday.
Borrowing parent company Facebook’s growth strategy, Instagram is making a big push globally to attract a larger audience. The company oversees a team of community editors in international markets to “put the finger on the pulse of these markets and help us understand what we should be doing to scale locally,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told Time magazine.
Still, despite the global growth, Instagram is expected to draw 85 percent of its revenue from the United States this year, according to eMarketer. Instagram is estimated to bring in $1.53 billion in global mobile ad revenue in 2016, which would be a 144 percent increase year-over-year and would amount to 8.4 percent of Facebook’s global mobile ad revenue. Furthermore, Instagram’s revenue share is expected to rise to 18 percent by 2018.
Instagram has seen rapid growth under the Facebook umbrella. The social networking giant acquired the app for $1 billion in April 2012 when it had only 30 million monthly active users. Over the past two years, Instagram has more than doubled in size, with the second 100 million monthly active users coming even faster than the first, the company reported.
"This is a tribute to [co-founders] Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger's vision, and to people everywhere who have opened a window into their world — from big events to everyday moments. Thanks for making Instagram such a beautiful place," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook Tuesday.
Instagram also touts more than 300 million daily active users. That’s far less than Facebook’s 1.09 billion, but double Twitter’s 140 million daily users and Snapchat’s reported 150 million.
These users are fueling Instagram with more than 95 million photos and videos shared per day and 4.2 million likes per day, on average. That engagement comes even as Instagram has made radical shift in its product. Last year, Instagram broke from its traditional square-only picture format. This year, the app eliminated chronological ordering and introduced an algorithm into users’ feeds.