Instagram added 100 million new monthly active users in the past four months to reach 700 million monthly active users, the Facebook-owned photo and video sharing app said on Wednesday morning.
Instagram said that this was the fastest amount of time it took the mobile app to gain 100 million users. It took six months for the app to reach 600 million monthly users in December 2016.
Instagram credited the growth with making it easier to sign up for the app, as well as rolling out new ways to find your Facebook friends on the mobile app.
The growth is impressive considering the competitive space in photo sharing and messaging. Namely, Instagram goes head to head with Snapchat, which recently went public and is popular among millennials.
In particular, Instagram has been aggressively rolling out new features in its battle to compete with rival Snapchat (“snap”). Last Fall, Instagram debuted Stories, a near carbon copy of Snapchat's Stories, which had gained a huge following and threatened Instagram's grip on users. A few weeks ago, Instagram updated its messaging service to be more like Snapchat's with unified ephemeral and direct messaging.
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But Instagram's big push into becoming more like Snapchat may have helped its app add more users, and eat away at Snapchat's users. Since Instagram launched Stories last Fall, Snapchat's user growth rate has declined, which analysts warned about when Snapchat held its high-profile initial public offering in March. According to TechCrunch, in the fourth quarter of 2016, Snapchat grew its users base by 3%, which is less than the 7% growth in the third quarter of 2016.
In one of its recent public filings, Snapchat attributed flat growth to "increased competition." Snapchat said it added only 50 million daily active users in 2016, but growth stagnated after Instagram launched Stories, towards the end of the year. Snapchat most recently said it has 160 million daily active users.