Instagram received a fair amount of press over the last week. First, 10 days ago, the app launched on Android. Then news of Facebook buying the tiny startup for $1 billion was everywhere from the Drudge Report to The Daily Show. The attention resulted in explosive growth. Since the launch of its Android app, Instagram’s user base grew from 30 to 40 million. That’s over 1,000,000 new users a day.
Rakshith, the creator of gramfeed, pinged us this morning after noticing the milestone from Instagram’s API. The 40 millionth user is valentinoelbuti. It seems at the time of this post’s writing, Instagram has exactly 40,026,379 users — or rather, roughly 5% of Facebook’s active user base.
It took Facebook four years to hit 100 million users. Instagram is on track to beat that number. The photo sharing service launched in October 2010 and saw 1 million users by December. It passed 10 million users the following September. Now, in April 2012, Instagram is growing at an incredible pace with 10 million new users in essentially this month alone. If nothing else, it shows that Android’s massive user base cannot be ignored.
Sure, Instagram received a massive amount of press late last week, but it also just became available to Android’s 500 million users. The timing was perfect. The vast majority of the new users likely first heard about Instagram from the news of the Facebook acquisition and Instagram was available for download in Google Play as if it had always been there.
Facebook says Instagram will remain a standalone photo app, which is great news for its users fearing a hostile takeover. However, it’s hard to imagine Facebook not wanting to tap Instagram’s massive user base. After all, Facebook needs to recoup the $1 billion it spent buying the start-up somehow.