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Instagram hits 100 million users

Instagram hits 100 million users
Tech Corner

POSTED: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 8:30am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 8:34am

After Instagram announced a terms-of-service change in December, hordes of users swore they'd quit the site. But those threats were largely empty: Instagram announced Tuesday that it now has 100 million monthly active users.

The milestone comes just a few months after the photo-sharing company's second birthday, and less than one year since Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion.

Co-founder Kevin Systrom penned a long blog post to commemorate the news, chronicling Instagram's modest beginnings in a chilly co-working space atop the San Francisco Bay and the journey to becoming a global phenomenon.

"Now, more than ever, people are capturing the world in real-time using Instagram—sharing images from the farthest corners of the globe," Systrom wrote. "What we see as a result is a world more connected and understood through photographs."

Systrom's post also discussed a couple who met through Instagram and began dating, the Instagram habits of small artisan businesses, and a United Nations aid worker who uses the platform to share images from refugee camps in Sudan.

"Instagram, as a tool to inspire and connect, is only as powerful as the community it is made of. For this reason, we feel extremely lucky to have the chance to build this with all of you," he wrote.

The feel-good post focused on Instagram's successes, and it didn't mention a rough patch the company skidded through just two months ago.

In December, Instagram announced a rule change that would give the company commercial rights to user accounts and images. Users revolted, because in a worst-case scenario, the new rules would have allowed the company to sell images to outside parties.

Backlash was swift, with users vowing to dump their Instagram accounts altogether. Instagram quickly backtracked, saying that wasn't their intent, and promised to "modify specific parts" of the new terms to make its intentions clear. That softened policy went into effect in January.

Some thought the damage had already been done, with reports warning of an Instagram user exodus. At 100 million monthly actives, however, it seems many Instagram users stuck around.

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