Instagram Now Has More Than 500 Million Monthly Users as Explosive Growth Continues

Gained 100 million members in 9 months

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CANNES, France—Word circulated here on Monday that Instagram had surpassed the 500 million monthly user mark, and the social app announced today that it has in fact met that milestone.

What's remarkable about the feat is that Instagram has gained about 100 million users in the last nine months. What's more, the social platform has gained about 200 million users in the last year and a half.

Other digital properties that have gained a half billion users include Facebook and Facebook-owned Messenger and WhatsApp. Tencent property WeChat also belongs in this exclusive club. 

When Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, it had 22 million users and a dozen or so employees. Per eMarketer, Instagram will rake in more than $1.5 billion in global mobile ad revenue, an increase of 144 percent over last year.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, will hold a press conference this afternoon here at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to discuss the milestone and other items.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.