Home Instagram Reaches 150 Million Photos

Instagram Reaches 150 Million Photos

Photo sharing app Instagram announced today that its users have posted over 150 million photos in the nine months since it launched. The free iPhone app, which lets users quickly snap square photos and apply a variety of preset filters for ambience, was one of our top 10 startups of last year, and we’ve watched its meteoric rise with great interest because, according to conventional wisdom, it shouldn’t have happened.

It’s a crowded space, and several competitors are better monetized. It’s unclear how viable the company will prove to be in the long run; there doesn’t seem to be a clear path to monetization. Instagram doesn’t even have a fully functional website like other apps do. The team is small, the app lacks some key features, and, crucially, it’s not even available for Android. How has Instagram done it?

There are at least two answers: Instagram epitomizes the lean, focused startup philosophy of doing one thing well and building it carefully. And, much more importantly, its users absolutely love it.

Unfazed by the lack of a browsable Web interface, Instagram lovers seized upon its real-time API and built them. Lots of them. There’s even a third-party companion app for iPhone and iPad designed solely for browsing Instagram photos in more ways than its own app makes possible.

Instagram’s approach is not universally adored, though. In fact, some people really, really hate it. Critics, out of love for data and photographs alike, contend that Instagram’s batch of stock filters and its relatively small 612×612 image resolution destroy the quality and integrity of the images. But these concerns are not lost on Instagram users. The #nofilter hashtag is worn as a badge of pride on images that turned out great on their own. And regardless, they’ve shared 150 million pieces of evidence that they don’t much care about all that.

Users are so invested in the process of sharing and finding Instagram photos that meticulous lists of best practices have emerged. Even RWW‘s own reporters, upstanding journalists that they are, are not immune to Instagram’s charms. The iPhone’s powerful camera and retina display offer a compelling experience for photo lovers, and they have a range of choices for photo app experiences. At least 7 million people have chosen Instagram, and they’ve chosen it 150 million times.

What Instagram will do with this good will remains to be seen. They raised a pretty big round of funding this year, and they haven’t put forth a clear path to monetization, while competitors have. Their announcement today says that “brands… have started to realize the power of communicating with their followers through images,” but that doesn’t offer much of a hint. It’s un-journalistic to mistake correlation for causation, but Instagram seems more interested in building a great experience than a great payout, and it sure is remarkable how much users love it.

Photo credit: first photo is Instagram photo #150,000,000 by janefot

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.