Instagram hits 5 million users as it nears 100 million photos

first_imgIf you own an iPhone, you may be one of the 5 million who have downloaded Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social network. Five million may not sound like that many users, but it is when you consider that Instagram started just eight months ago and added 100,000 new users just this past weekend.Users collectively post about 860,000 new photos to Instagram each day and have posted more than 95 million photos as a whole so far. The 100-million-photo mark is definitely in sight and will probably arrive in the next few days. As an example of just how big an achievement that is, consider it took Flickr two years to reach the same 100-million-photo mark. Instagram will do it in an eight month timeframe.Instagram is only available on iOS right now, though there are plenty of Android knock-offs. Instagram allows users to add filters and effects to their photos and then share them through the app or through various social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and so on. The photos produced by Instagram replicate those from the old Kodak Instamatic and Poloaroid cameras. They have been dubbed “hipster photos,” since, as Mashable points out, many bands are now using Instagram to take their band photos. Who needs a professional photographer when you can just use Instagram to give your photo a vintage feel?The team behind Instagram is small, and includes just four people. Co-founder Kevin Systrom interned at Twitter before it was actually Twitter back in the day, and had a few run-ins with Mark Zuckerberg during Facebook’s early stages. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Quora’s Adam D’Angelo have invested money into Instagram, among other investors. The small company totals 1.25 million users per employee, so there’s a lot that each person has to deal with. Naturally, with Instagram’s rampant success, the company is focusing on hiring more employees now.But how can the company afford to pay these new employees when it has hardly any revenue. Since the app is free and it doesn’ t have any advertising, like most free apps do, the company isn’t taking in much money. Plus, it pays for hosting and storage costs, as well as for rent.Apparently 2,500 apps already use the Instagram API, so if the company charged developers to use its API, then maybe it could make some bucks that way. Two of the top apps using the Instagram API are Webstagram and Flipboard. Webstagram lets you view Instagram photos via the web, since the app is iOS only right now. Will we be seeing an official web-based Instagram any time soon? All Systrom will say is “work continues in that area,” as well as with an Android app.Read more at TechCrunch and Business Insiderlast_img read more