Instagram & The Android Effect

The wait is over. Instagram has finally arrived on the Android (not all of the phones, but quite a few of them.) And predictably, the reaction to the release of the app has been tremendous – though not everyone is that impressed by it. Either way, it is giving the San Francisco-based company’s user base a nice bump. Instagram had about 430,000 people on the Android-app waiting list prior to today’s release. The company says before today’s launch it had more than 30 million registered users and more than a billion photos have been uploaded so far — that is impressive growth for a company that launched in October 2010.
The New York Times reports that the company is signing up around 2000 people a minute.  That is a whopping 120,000 new users every hour or about 2.9 million in a day.  I have been watching my own follower count on Instagram (you can follow me @om) and it has gone past the 10,000 mark. On a typical day, I add about 25 new followers on Instagram and share two photos. Today was no different. I uploaded two photos, but today I have added about 500 new followers.
On a lark, I emailed Nick Bilton of the New York Times, arguably one of the top Instagram-mers to find out how many new folks he had added: a couple of thousand, he replied back. Many of the folks who I normally follow on Instagram were showing higher follower counts as well. Last time I checked, the app had 4.5 rating on Google’s Play store with 24,550 votes.
It is pretty clear that thanks to the turbocharge effect of Android, Instagram’s user base is going to blast past the 50 million mark in a couple of weeks. Just before the company launched its app in October, I had pointed out that there was going to be a mobile-only, photo-oriented social platform that will challenge the established social giants. It will be a summer to remember for this tiny company.