Instagram Growth Far Outpaces Facebook or Twitter

Instagram is exploding. Sure, the mobile photo-sharing service has been the object of buzz and adoration since day one, but few could have predicted a growth rate quite this phenomenal. Instagram boasts an amazing 80 million users, the company announced today.

When Facebook announced its acquisition of Instagram in April, the photo-sharing app's user base approached 30 million. In just under four months since, its user base has grown by more than 166%, fueled in large part by the release of an Android version and tightening integration with Facebook. Instagram acquired 15 million users in the six months between Sept 2011 to March 2012. It ballooned by another 20 million between April and May. Another 30 million users in the last two months? No problem. 

100 Million Users in Two Years?

The Android/Facebook surge in signups appears to have slowed down, but the service is still growing more dramatically. At the current rate, Instagram will likely hit 100 million users by early fall, just in time for its two-year anniversary. 

To put things in perspective, it took Twitter five years to reach 100 million users. Facebook hit 100 million users in 2008, just over four years after its initial launch. 

Google+ hit 100 million after about one year, but it's worth bearing in mind that that particular social network was launched by an existing giant on top of Web services that were already enormous. Instagram, like Facebook and Twitter, was launched organically by a small team and rose to Internet stardom more or less on its own merits.