According to Citigroup, Instagram, the company which makes the popular photo and video sharing service, has been valued at $35 billion. This figure is a marked increase from the previous valuation of $19 billion.
The company recently stated it has exceeded 300 million active users, and has also hit the news this week for cleaning out spam accounts, while at the same time adding new filters and features in an update to the app. For those who have never used Instagram, it’s a photo taking app which offers dozens of ways to add effects and share them online. It’s also well known for sticking to a square aspect ratio (just like a polaroid print) rather than the more common 4:3 or 16:9.
Instagram’s value has skyrocketed since it was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for just $1 billion, when it only had 27 million iOS (Apple) users. After launching on Android however, an extra million downloads were added to the tally.
The growing popularity of Internet photos and video services is reflected by the fact that Instagram now has more users than Twitter, and was also listed in last year’s 50 best Android apps award by Time magazine.
Instagram removes ‘spam accounts’, angers many
Yesterday, millions of Instagram accounts were removed by the company, as it claimed they were posting spam. Unfortunately, this caused a furore by lots of real users who criticised the move, calling it the “Instagram Rapture”.
Just like Facebook, from time to time the company does remove accounts and also tries to limit the ability to buy followers (to appear popular).
Superstar rapper Akon wasn’t too happy though, as he lost over half of his followers as a direct result, as well as Justin Bieber who lost more than 3.5 million followers overnight. Poor guy…
Nobody can really complain though, as Instagram had already warned users that a huge cull was imminent in a blog post on their website earlier in December.
We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience – chief executive and founder Kevin Systrom.
Just goes to show that if you pay for followers, you can’t really be surprised when they disappear overnight.
Instagram can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, and also from Google Play for Android devices.
Check out this post which describes one of the most common mobile scams in Asia – paying for the number of followers and likes on Instagram (scam number 5 in the article).