Instagram delivered quite the brag Thursday, announcing its community had officially grown to include more than 600 million monthly active users. 100 million of those joined in the past six months alone, suggesting the Bieber-condemned photo app's recent updates have been a success.
"A lot has changed this year, but the Instagram community and the diversity of expression it provides has remained consistent," the company said in a blog post Thursday. "And you now have more ways to share than ever before with Instagram Stories, live video and disappearing photos and videos in Direct. Additionally, with updated safety tools that give you more control over comments and other parts of your experience, we're working to make Instagram safer than ever for connection and self-expression."
As noted in Forbes' detailed breakdown of this latest growth spurt, Instagram's community has doubled in size from 300 million to 600 million monthly active users in just two years. Considering the fact that Instagram previously took a total of nine months to grow from 400 million to 500 million users, the aforementioned six-month boom of 100 million 'grammers is definitely a feat.
Earlier this week, Instagram (finally) launched live broadcasts for all U.S. users. To go live, users simply have to swipe right from the main feed and tap that Start Live Video button. The app also recently added a new fleet of safety tools including comment control features and the ability to remove followers from a private account. "These updates still mark the beginning," Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom said. "We will continue to work to maintain Instagram as a welcoming and safe place for everyone."