Despite being embroiled in Congressional hearings and a turbulent year overall, Instagram’s addictive content has propelled the platform to surpass the 2 billion monthly active user milestone.
CNBC cited people familiar with the situation who claim that Instagram reached the 2 billion monthly active user mark this fall, around a week before Facebook changed its name to Meta in October. Instagram never divulged its user count after June 2018, when it crossed the 1 billion monthly active user mark. The company was founded in 2010 and took eight years to hit the 1 billion user mark, but just three to double that. An Instagram spokesperson declined CNBC’s request for comment.
Instagram’s achievement is significant considering that the company CEO Adam Mosseri made his first appearance before the Senate Commerce subcommittee last week to discuss child protection online. The topic has dealt a heavy blow to Instagram’s image in recent months. At one point, Instagram even considered launching a dedicated app for young children, dubbed Instagram Kids but was forced to shelve the idea amid public outcry.
Eventually, the image-sharing platform introduced features such as “Take a Break” to demonstrate its focus on its users. Amid the setting criticism, perhaps it is wise to hide the numbers that quantify Instagram’s popularity.
In October, Facebook (now Meta) said it plans to make Reels the core of Instagram and Facebook appeal to users between 18 and 24. What started as an image-sharing service has now pivoted its focus towards short-form video content due to its immense popularity today. It would be remiss to mention that between Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, Meta has billions of monthly active users, a fair share of whom are monetizable. The sister platforms continue to be among the most popular on the market despite each of them facing its fair share of controversies.