Instagram, the social media network that allows users to share images and videos, is estimated to be worth $100 billion, according to a new report by Bloomberg. The figure has been arrived at by compiling data available with Bloomberg Intelligence, and is a marked 100-fold increase over the $1 billion that Facebook paid to acquire Instagram in 2012.
The increase in valuation comes because of Facebook’s strong efforts into consolidating Instagram as the market leader in its specific branch of social networking. Instagram is a visual-focused service, allowing users to share images and videos with others in their network. The design and layout is specifically meant for smartphone use, with a vertical scrolling interface and square-shaped image layout.
While Instagram initially launched as an iOS exclusive app, it has also been on Android since April 2012, Windows 10 Mobile since April 2016 and Windows 10 since October 2016. The service is incredibly popular among its user base, and is estimated to have over one billion users globally. This figure is expected to touch two billion in the next five years, and Instagram is growing faster than parent company Facebook in terms of adding users globally.
Instagram recently launched its latest feature addition called Instagram TV (IGTV). The service is a platform to showcase content by content creators on the platform. While similar to Google-owned YouTube in its approach, the kind of content being created for IGTV is different, more personal in nature, and meant for smartphone viewing. Videos on IGTV can be up to one hour long, unlike the one-minute limit on regular videos posted to an Instagram feed.
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The massive valuation for Instagram also has a lot to do with the platform’s user base, which is notably younger than parent company Facebook’s. This makes the platform more attractive for advertisers, and the visual nature of the network along with its smartphone-friendly design make it easier to push ads directly to users, as well as through ‘influencers’ – users on Instagram with a large following. Instagram currently accounts for a little over 10 percent of Facebook’s revenue, but this number is expected to increase significantly next year.