When it comes to social media, it seems people are more interested in photos than words. The photo-sharing service Instagram announced Wednesday that it has surpassed 300 million users worldwide and that users share more than 70 million photos daily, making the service more popular than microblogging platform Twitter.
Instagram launched in October 2010 as an iPhone-only app and gained more than 10 million subscribers within a year. The app became available on Android in April 2012; more than 1 million Android users signed up within two hours, and 5 million in five days. By the end of that month, Instagram had passed the 50 million global user mark. By March 2014, the number had grown to more than 200 million.
Having surpassed Twitter, which had about 284 million users as of October, Instagram is demonstrating its immense growth potential. The app gained more than 100 million users in nine months, while Twitter gained about 38 million, according to TechCrunch.
“We’re thrilled to watch this community thrive and witness the amazing connections people make over shared passions and journeys,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a press release.
Instagram is owned by Facebook, which boasts a lofty 1.35 billion monthly users on its own. WhatsApp, another Facebook-owned application, has about 600 million users.
Following in Twitter’s footsteps, Instagram also announced Wednesday that it will allow notable people to verify their accounts as authentic. Common on the app are parody accounts and fan pages, in addition to copycat accounts that pretend to be someone they are not. Celebrities, brands and athletes now will be able to establish that they are who they say they are.
Instagram has also begun deleting spam accounts, when it previously would just deactivate them. Systrom noted that such accounts have not been tallied among its 300 million users, and that users may notice their follower numbers decrease as fake accounts are deleted.