Instagram hits a new milestone: half a billion total users

The company, which has been growing by 100 million users every nine months, has 300M DAUs

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
June 21, 2016
Short URL:

It's been over four years now since Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion. It's a purchase that still ranks as the seventh largest in social media history, and it's one that has only looked better and better as the years have gone on.

On Tuesday the company revealed that it has passed a major new milestone, reaching half a billion total users. Even more impressive is that 300 million of those users, or 60 percent, use it every single day.

Instagram reached 100 million users in February of 2013, and it took over a year to get those next 100 million on board, with the company hitting 200 million in March of 2014. Since then, it has added another 100 million every nine months, like clockwork: it got to 300 million in December 2014, then 400 million in September of 2015, and finally, nine months after that, 500 million users. 

While Instagram's numbers are still dwarfed by Facebook, which has 1.65 billion MAUs, and its othr properties, including WhatsApp, with 1 billion MAUs and Messenger, which has 900 million MAUs, it is still one of the largest social networks out there right, with more users than Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Twitter has famously had trouble growing its userbase in recent years, essentially getting stuck at around 320 million users, while LinkedIn reached 400 million users in October of last year. Snapchat hasn't released any official user numbers, but it is said to have 150 million DAUs. Honestly, it's probably a little unfair to company the company to all these others, given it's relative youth, but it is growing quickly, and should be a part of the conversation. 

In addition to its continually growing userbase, Instagram has been a big success for Facebook in another area as well: advertising revenue.

This year, Instagram will earn $1.53 billion in worldwide mobile ad revenue, a jump of 144 percent over last year, according to data from eMarketer. Its ad revenue is expected to increase by another 230 percent over the next two years, hitting $5.06 billion by 2018. 

For Facebook, Instagram's percentage of ad revenue continues to grow. This year, Instagram will represent 8.4 percent of Facebook's worldwide mobile ad revenue, a figure that will climb to 18 percent by 2018. In the U.S., that number is over 15 percent this year, and will be edging toward 30 percent two years from now. 

In the announcement, Instagram revealed that more than 80 percent of its users are now living outside of the United States. Interestingly, eMarketer data shows that 85 percent of Instagram's revenue will come from the U.S., despite only being 20 percent of the audience.

(Image source:

Related news