Instagram hits 300M users, announces verified badges

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Instagram has announced that the photo-sharing app’s user base has exceeded 300 million, overtaking Twitter’s 284 million users, with 70 million photos and videos being shared on it each day.

It was also announced that verified badges, like Twitter and Facebook, will be rolled out over the coming days to the accounts of celebrities, athletes and brands, so that users can “connect with the authentic accounts they are looking for”.

The company, which was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in April 2012, plans to permanently delete any accounts it believes are ‘spammy’, which may result in the follower count for some users being reduced.

Last month, it launched a ‘people’ tab on its explore page, which highlights interesting accounts to follow, and it also launched improvements to its search feature.

In October, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said there are no plans to monetise products like Instagram aggressively in the next couple of years as the company believes the best approach to fully realise the potential of the products is to initially focus on connecting more people.

However, he added that Instagram made “a lot of progress” during the third quarter, with strong international growth over the past year — exceeding 100 per cent in some countries.

Instagram said in September it will introduce advertising to its photo sharing app in the UK (after previously doing so in the US), with brands such as Cadbury, Channel 4, Rimmel, Sony Music, Starbucks among those to feature.

It also launched Hyperlapse, a standalone time lapse video app on iOS, in August, while there has been heavy investment to improve the speed and performance of the core app on Android.

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