Last month we reported that Instagram was growing at 1.2 million users a month and was at 4.25 million users. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, the service has now hit 5 million users. After being around for only 8 months, Instagram is proving to be one of the most popular social networks of all time. Considering thatit’s only available on iOS devices. There is no Android app, neither can it be used on the computer – its network is completely made up of iOS users, which makes its statistics all the more impressive.
It has about 95 million photos so far, with 100 million slated to be uploaded within the next few days. When you compare it to Flickr that took two years to reach the same 100 million photo mark, you can tell that Instagram is onto something big here. But Instagram is hardly making any money at the moment: it doesn’t have any advertising like most free apps do, and it pays for hosting and storage costs as well as for rent. And with a staff of only 4 people, they’re looking to hire more people in order to handle the huge number of consumers using the service.
It’s uncertain how the company is going to be making money in the future, but the company could possibly charge the over 2,500 apps that make use of its APIs, or introduce ads into the service. Perhaps it could even charge members for premium services. I guess we’ll see. In the meantime, be on the lookout for Android and web-based versions of the app which are in the works but don’t have a definite timeline. Instagram is available for free on the Apple App Store.