The 4S And Thanksgiving Help Instagram Add Two Million Users In A Month

Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger is on stage right now, talking about innovative mobile design at the Warm Gun conference in San Francisco.

If anybody has some thing to say about mobile design it’s the founders of the popular – startup which has had a great year, adding twelve million users in twelve months according to Krieger, and another two million in November (when we checked in at the beginning of November it was at 12 million downloads, and Krieger just confirmed to me that it is now at 14 million).

“I often think about mobile experience as filling in the gaps while you wait. And no one wants to wait while they wait,” Krieger said, emphasizing that design should be a speed feature. Krieger held that there were three factors that have to go into consideration when making an app that users love: speed, beauty and communication.

With regards to the speed aspect of the equation, Krieger encouraged developers to …

1. Perform actions optimistically

2. adaptively pre-load content

3. move bits when no one’s watching speed beauty and communication

Krieger said that the iPhone 4S launch had a lot to do with the impressive downloads stats, in addition to the Thanksgiving holiday, where the app was seeing engagement levels of 50 photos a second. “My friend was telling me that he got to experience all of his family’s various Thanksgivings through Instagram, Krieger said enthusiastically.

What makes this rapid scale even more impressive is that Instagram currently has a staff of six, with only three focused on engineering. Krieger has written a blog post about the infrastructure issues involved in scaling here.

You can download Instagram in the App Store here. An Android version is currently in the works.

Image: @mikey