Instagram hits 200M users as Facebook's hands-off approach bears fruit - Mobile World Live

Instagram hits 200M users as Facebook’s hands-off approach bears fruit

26 MAR 2014

Photo sharing app Instagram has seen a 10-times increase in user numbers since its $1 billion acquisition by Facebook two years ago, as it appears to thrive as a separate part of the social network’s business.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a conference call that Instagram was an initial test case as the company had no previous experience of a company joining and operating separately.

“Our thesis when we agreed to acquire Instagram was that one day we thought it could reach 100 million people or more, and within the first two years of working with them, we’re already at 200 million,” he said.

In December last year, Instagram gained the ability to send photos and videos to individual users via a new messaging feature called Instagram Direct.

Short-form video clips were added to the service in June 2013 while the company also announced it would start to show adverts within the app as it looks to build itself into a “sustainable business”.

Zuckerberg also revealed that more than one billion people now use mobile apps produced by his company, with Facebook services accounting for more than 20 per cent of time spent in apps globally.

Although the $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp hasn’t yet closed, Zuckerberg said this app is also on course to reach one billion users.

He pointed out that companies with user bases on this scale have previously proved to be “incredibly valuable”.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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