On Tuesday Instagram announced they have reached 500 million active monthly users, with more than 300 million people using the photo-sharing app on a daily basis.
“It’s a big milestone for us because we set to create a community, not just a photo-sharing app,” Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom told TIME in an interview. “One of the things we said early on is that everyone can create a photo-sharing app, but not everyone can build a community that lasts. And [these 500 million users] are not in silos. They are all interacting with each other. It’s a global community.”
Just last September, the Instagram community had only 400 million users. With 80% of its users now from outside the US, up from 75% last Fall, Instagram’s recent growth has relied heavily on its increasing popularity in overseas countries like Japan, Germany, France and Indonesia.
According to Mashable, the new Instagram stats come at a time when many users are voicing complaints over recent changes the company has made to its app, particularly its feed, which shifted to an algorithmic-based model that now orders user’s timelines based on interests, rather than chronology.
As with any big Instagram change, the new timeline feed has sparked mixed reactions, although it does not seem to have negatively impacted its growth and engagement based on the company’s latest numbers. The app now sees more than 95 million new posts and more than 4 billion likes each day.
Though Instagram is still relatively small compared with Facebook and WhatsApp — each of which have well over a billion active users — Instagram’s latest growth suggests the photo app might be catching up with them in the near future.