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Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Instagram Just Keeps Growing Like Crazy

Apr 26, 2017

It's already shaping up to be a big year for Snapchat, but that hasn't slowed rival Instagram's growth one bit. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app announced Wednesday that it now has more than 700 million monthly active users, up from 600 million just four months ago.

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Instagram says it added its most recent 100 million users faster than ever before. It took six months for Instagram to jump from 500 million to 600 million monthly active users last year, and nine months to expand from 400 million to 500 million.

The company attributes its growth spurt to multiple factors, including a simplified sign-up process. The milestone also comes after Instagram added a barrage of new features over the past several months, some of which resemble those available on Snapchat. Earlier this month, Instagram integrated disappearing message threads within the app's regular inbox, a move meant to make it easier to see all types of private messages in one place. Instagram added stickers to the app in December that provide context about where a photo or video was taken. The ability to publish more than one photo in a single post, turn off comments, and remove followers are also among the updates Instagram has released in recent months.

The spike in monthly active users is a sign that Instagram's strategy of mimicking Snapchat is working. The Stories feature has proven to be popular since its August debut: the company says 200 million people use it each day.

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