Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, has 300 million monthly active users, vaulting it past Twitter.
The app allows users to take pictures, edit them and share them online.
The company, which was bought by Facebook for US$1 billion 2012, has been ramping up user numbers, growing by a third in the past nine months alone, according to the Financial Times.
However, Instagram has only just started to generate revenue as it slowly experiments with sponsored posts and videos from brands that would traditionally have been more at home in glossy magazines, including Levi’s, Michael Kors and General Electric.
The mobile advertising market is expected to pass US$40 billion this year, the report said, citing research group eMarketer, with the United States, China and Britain accounting for nearly 70 per cent of the market.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, has said none of the company’s collection of apps needs to rush to generate revenue before they hit one billion users.
Facebook, which has 1.35 billion monthly active users, has beaten revenue expectations for six consecutive quarters.
This one unit of Facebook now has substantially more active users than rival Twitter, which said in October that it had 284 million monthly active users.
Shares in Twitter have fallen 41 per cent this year as Wall Street has worried about slowing user growth. Facebook stock has risen 42 per cent.
Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder and chief executive, said the company is working to improve the experience by making accounts easier to discover, improving search and putting “verified badges” on the app’s many celebrity users, athletes and brands the report said.
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