The photo sharing platform Instagram announced reaching the milestone of 300 million verified users earlier in the day today. The announcement makes it even bigger than the micro blogging site Twitter which, according to BBC, has 284 million users. Instagram is a part of the Zuckerberg owned Facebook group, having been acquired by them two years back for $1 billion. They have reached this milestone exactly 13 months after touching the 100 million user base and that too amid an increasing competition from other photo sharing apps.

Kevin Systrom, the founder cum CEO of the popular photo sharing site, made this announcement in a company blog post. The site had only 30 million users when it was acquired by Facebook two years back. After coming under Zuck’s fold, some of their magic touch seems to have rubbed off here as well and the site now has increased to ten times its size within a very short span.

A greater part of that growth has come from outside the US, after the site owners translated their app into more languages “and connected users to public figures in their home countries.” In March, Instagram had only 120 million outside the US, a number which has grown to 210 million within eight odd months.

“Two years ago, we were barely international and now we’re very international,” Systrom said in an interview.

Apart from the numbers that make up the site, their users are highly engaged and active. Nearly 70 million pictures and videos are shared over this site daily. “Venture capitalists have valued other social networks at roughly $40 per user; at that rate, Instagram would be valued at about $12 billion.”

“We’re thrilled to watch this community thrive and witness the amazing connections people make over shared passions and journeys,” CEO Kevin Systrom said in a blog entry.

Though the site has seven to ten people on board its team who look and work towards expanding its user base, they continue to get help from the growth team of their parent company, Facebook, as well. “As an independent company, it would have taken a lot longer to get to this point,” said Systrom.

Last month, the company had launched its account-highlighting People tab on the Explore page, and threw in a few search improvements. Systrom also announced the addition of verified badges for celebrities, athletes, and brands, making it easier for users to connect with authentic accounts in a manner similar to Twitter. The verified badge feature will be rolled out in the coming days.

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