Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram in 2012 was nothing short of genius. Though the expensive acquisition raised more than a few eyebrows at the time, Instagram under the Facebook umbrella continues to soar to new heights. Earlier this week, Facebook’s Carolyn Everson announced that Instagram has more than 800 million active users every single month. All the more impressive is that of that subset, 500 million users engage with the site on a daily basis.
By way of contrast, Snapchat, the company which was ostensibly positioned to give Instagram and Facebook some serious competition, currently boasts about 300 million active users and 173 million daily users. Those are impressive figures to be sure, but Instagram is undeniably on another level.
What’s remarkable about Instagram is that subscriber growth hasn’t show any signs of slowing down over the past few years. Indeed, any time a new challenge arises, Instagram is able to adjust quickly and adeptly. As a quick example, when Instagram launched Instagram Stories in August of 2016 as part of a concerted effort to better combat Snapchat, it only took 10 months before Instagram Stories was seeing more than 250 million daily active users.
“Our user growth for stories is actually coming at the explosive growth for Instagram overall,” Everson said at the time.
As for overall subscriber growth, here’s a quick timeline of how Instagram has exploded over the past few years. When Facebook initially acquired Instagram in 2012, the site boasted about 35 million users. 18 months later, Instagram announced that its user base had skyrocketed to 150 million. By December of 2015, Instagram announced that its site was now servicing more than 600 million active users. And now, less than two years later, Instagram’s subscriber base has jumped by 33% to 800 million.
Today, some analysts peg Instagram’s standalone value in the $25 billion to $50 billion range. With the benefit of hindsight, Facebook’s $1 billion offer now looks like the steal of the century.