Most services never even come close to having 100 million users, and the ones that do reach that coveted milestone only do so after years of growth, but it took Google Photos a mere five months. To be fair, it started off as a popular feature for Google+ that was recently spun off into a separate service, so it’s technically had a few years to amass a large userbase, but that doesn’t make 100 million users any less impressive. To put that into perspective, Flickr has only slightly more than that despite having been around for more than a decade.
Google has announced that Photos, the image backup tool spun out of Google+ just five months ago, has already reached 100 million monthly active users. That doesn’t seem like much compared to Instagram, which has more than 400 million users, or Facebook’s 1 billion users. But it compares favorably to Flickr — the most recent figure offered by that service says it’s used by 112 million people — despite launching more than a decade after its primary competitor debuted. It’s still remarkable that Photos has reached so many people in such a short time. Not that it’s surprising: Google+ was often hailed as a great way to manage pictures, and cutting that functionality out of the all-but-defunct social network gave people a way to enjoy the tool without having to bother with Google+ itself. Photos has another thing going for it — a lack of competition. Besides Flickr, and the iCloud photo-management tools available to iPhone owners, there really isn’t much of an image backup market. Google has won simply by virtue of its ability to offer a service like this without needing it to make money right away.