Instagram is now larger than Twitter. The social media giant announced on Wednesday that it passed the 300 million active user mark. That means Instagram, which was bought by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, has passed Twitter (284M users). Instagram also announced today that it will, like Twitter, start verifying accounts of celebrities, athletes, and brands in the coming days. The company is also deactivating “spammy accounts” to improve the user experience.
Instagram appears to have inherited the growth gene from parent Facebook. Acquired for $1 billion in 2012, Instagram said Wednesday it added 100 million users since March, pushing its base to 300 million. The vast majority of that growth came outside the U.S., said CEO and co-founder Kevin Systrom, after Instagram translated its app into more languages and connected users to public figures in their home countries. Instagram says 210 million of its users are outside the U.S., compared with 120 in March. “Two years ago, we were barely international and now we’re very international,” Systrom said in an interview. Instagram has seven to 10 employees charged with growing the user base, but they also get help from Facebook’s larger growth team. “As an independent company, it would have taken a lot longer to get to this point,” he said.