Instagram now has 300 million monthly users, picking up 100 million since March. The photo- and video-sharing app has surpassed Twitter's official user count of 284 million.
Facebook's companion company, bought for $1 billion in 2012, announced the milestone today, as well as the fact that it will start handing out verified accounts, the kind coveted by Twitter's users.
The verified badges will be for public figures and brands, Instagram said. Verified badges, coming within the week, "will make it easier for people to identify and follow the authentic brands they care about," Instagram said today in an email. "When an account is verified, a blue badge will appear next to its name in its profile as well as in search."
Instagram has become the visual cousin to Facebook, attracting younger users at a time when the parent company is seen by some to be losing its youth appeal. Instagram also is expanding its ad business, recently releasing video ads.
Lastly, Instagram said it is purging fake accounts from the site, which means a number of brands could see their follower counts decline. Instagram said this is part of its ongoing anti-spam efforts.