Dec 15, 2021 - Technology

Report: Instagram quietly hits 2 billion monthly users

Data: Axios research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Instagram hit 2 billion monthly active users worldwide earlier this fall, CNBC reports, citing unnamed sources.

Why it matters: Instagram joins an exclusive club of just four social apps that have hit that milestone. Meta owns three of the four.

The intrigue: Instagram may have opted to keep the achievement a secret in an effort to avoid conflating its already messy public image.

  • The company has been dragged by lawmakers over whistleblower allegations that it doesn't do enough to protect the mental health of young users.
  • Last week, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri testified before Congress about the matter for the first time.

Yes, but: The question remains whether these types of metrics accurately reflect Instagram's true user base.

  • For example, a Facebook whistleblower complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this fall suggests the company misled investors about the true size of its shrinking user base.
  • Young users on Instagram are known for creating fake duplicate accounts, dubbed "finstas," to hide their identities on the app.

What to watch: In hitting 2 billion users, Instagram has proven that its app still has room to grow, despite increased competition from apps like TikTok.

Instagram did not immediately reply to request for comment.

Go deeper