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October 5, 2015

5 major milestones in the history of Instagram

List: From Taylor Swift, to politics, to its acquisition by Facebook, the social media site has done a lot in a short time.

By James Nunns

Instagram is about to reach its fifth birthday.

Founded in October 2010, the photo sharing service has been a hotbed of activity for some of the biggest social trends.

To mark its birthday CBR has compiled a list of some of its biggest milestones.

1. 400 million users

A great early birthday present came in September when it announced that it has reached the milestone of 400 million users posting to it every month.

To put this in context, Twitter has 316 million active users a month.

You may think that the site would have a predominantly American user base, but actually 75% live outside the US.

Those 400 million sure do love Taylor Swift, the popstar has 47.7 million followers, liking such pictures as her posing with her cats.

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2. 40 billion pictures

The snap happy users of Instagram have amassed a staggering 40 billion pictures taken and they aren’t all of cats, food or Kim Kardashian selfies.

The social media site even managed to get the first picture of Pluto. This came about due to a partnership with NASA, which agreed to debut the first surface picture of Pluto on the site.

However, to lower the tone again, the most liked picture ever on the site is of Kendall Jenner, receiving over 2.6 million likes.

3. Acquired by Facebook

Back in 2012 the site was acquired by Facebook for $715 million, which looks like a bit of a steal now when looking at its success and compared to the expense of other deals such as Facebook buying WhatsApp for $19bn.

At the time Mark Zuckerberg, said: "Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together."

4. Instagram and politics

Instagram has turned into quite the political tool over the years, as political activists use it to reach their audience with powerful images.

From being used widely during the Arab Spring, to the site taking a stance on banning topics related to guns and drugs.

It is also now widely used by news organisations and has proved to be a successful medium for reaching out to younger generations.

5. Filling out the platform

Since its creation, Instagram has had many new features added to it. In the past few years it has had video added, which allows for 15 seconds of video and instant messaging.

Instant messaging allowed for users to share private videos and photos with selected friends and was launched under Instagram Direct in December 2013.

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