Instagram has reportedly reached two billion monthly active users, according to internal conversations leaked to CNBC.
The photo sharing app has not made its user figures public since June 2018, when it announced Instagram hit one billion active users. According to the report, the lack of updates may be due to Meta trying to avoid accusations of having a social media monopoly.
Instagram quarterly monthly active users (mm)
Like most apps, Instagram saw a meaningful bump in usage in the second quarter of 2020, when most countries were in lockdown due the coronavirus pandemic. Usage in India also increased rapidly following the Indian government’s TikTok ban in June 2020.
While Reels (Instagram’s TikTok clone) has not slowed down TikTok’s growth, it has become a popular feature on Instagram, especially in India and Brazil which saw noticeable increases in downloads after Reels launched.
Instagram and its owner Meta have come under fire after leaked documents published by the Wall Street Journal revealed that Meta knew its apps were detrimental to teenagers mental health.
The whistleblower, Frances Haugen, also revealed that Meta knew its algorithmic feeds promoted divisive content and that it was allowing violence in developing countries fester through misinformation and poor moderation.
Instagram halted development of a kids app after the leaks were publicised, but have not committed to ending development of the app.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri faced questions from Congress on how the app protects its users, particularly children. One Senator, Richard Blumenthal, said that Meta’s platforms need to be policed and regulated by someone other than itself.