Hard to believe the little photo app that could – Instagram – is still not quite two years old, yet has managed to not only find over 80 million users without having a web application but also get purchased by Facebook for a whopping billion dollars. Apparently, it was a great investment on Facebook’s part because the latest comScore report says that for the first time, Instagram’s number of daily users has surpassed that of Twitter.
It’s important to note that it wasn’t until this April that Instagram finally released a Droid version of their app; it was only available on the iPhone. Since androids hold almost 70% of the smart phone market, it’s not terribly surprising that Instagram use would spike suddenly after the android version of the app was released.
But it’s not just the number of daily users; it’s also time spent. According to All Things D:
That data comes from comScore, via a new mobile measurement report: It says that throughout August, Instagram had an average of 7.3 million daily active users — or DAUs, in Facebook parlance. That tops of Twitter’s 6.9 million DAUs over the same period of time. What’s more, the average Instagram user spent 257 minutes accessing the photo-sharing site via mobile device in August, the data claims, while the average Twitter user over the same period spent 170 minutes viewing.
It’s particularly fascinating because as the world becomes more and more mobile (in fact, I learned at this weekend’s Social Good Summit that many countries skipped right over desktop technology and went right for mobile), Instagram is one of the biggest mobile-only success stories. Wired breaks it down:
Instagram effectively has no website; though the social network’s photos live on the web, it can only be driven through mobile app. Like the popular check-in service Foursquare, Instagram is truly native to mobile and specifically to smartphones. Even before evidence of Instagram’s amazing six-month growth spurt, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists were becoming obsessed with the mobile frontier and with the potential of mobile-first development. Much as bricks-and-mortar companies raced to develop web strategies in the mid 1990s, today’s web properties, including relative newcomers like Facebook, are racing to draw up aggressive attack plans for mobile.
Mobile is exploding, and Instagram is leading the way. This will be so interesting to watch.