Photo and video sharing platform Instagram claims that it now has 500,000 global advertisers on the platform. The company says that 6 months ago, it had 250,000 advertisers. The US, Brazil, UK, Australia and Canada are top countries to advertise on the platform. Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012 and at last count, it claimed to have 500 million monthly active users.

Some statistics:
– Instagram claims that 50% of its users follow a business, and 60% users say that they discover products and services through Instagram.
– 75% Instagram users act on a post by going to the website, searching, shopping or sharing that information.
– 1 billion such actions have taken place on the platform since Instagram launched ads on its platform.
– 70% of ‘performance’ campaigns contributed to online ad money or mobile app installs.
– Performance on ads increased by 45% since June this year, and that it contributed to a 2% increase in offline sales.
– 1.5 million businesses got a business profile in 2 months of launch.

Note that in March, Instagram updated its photo feed to display best posts or content based on the likelihoods, interests, relationship with the user, and timeliness of posts. Previously, it displayed posts in a chronological order. This change was likely to help the company bring in ad revenues as well, since it could contextually place ads depending on a user’s feed.

Indian Instagram users

A Nielsen study stated that  80% of the Instagram’s Indian users were mobile-first, using the phone to take pictures to post to social media. According to the study, more than 50 million out of the last 100 million users who joined Instagram were from Asia and Europe. It added over 50% of Indian Instagram users had frequently purchased products and services from the brands they followed and followed brands to learn about their deals and products.

Recent Instagram developments:
– Earlier this month, Instagram launched a “keyword moderation tool” which would let its users hide comments containing words they have blacklisted as such.
– According to a comScore report for June 2016, Instagram was among top apps like Facebook, Messenger, YouTube, Google Maps and others by unique visitors.
– Last month, Instagram took on Snapchat with a new feature called Instagram Stories which allowed users to post pictures and 10 second videos for 24 hours.
The Information (subscription required) reported in June that between 2013 and 2015, the number of photos shared on average by each Instagram user had fallen.
– In September 2015, Instagram opened up its platform to businesses for advertising to 30 new countries which included India, South Korea, Italy, Spain and Mexico.