Instagram hits 100 million-plus users a month

Braves team photographer Pouya Dianat recently shared sample Instagram videos with outfielder Justin Upton in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com)

Braves team photographer Pouya Dianat recently shared sample Instagram videos with outfielder Justin Upton in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com)

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Instagram is now used by more than 100 million people each month, co-founder Kevin Systrom disclosed on the photo-sharing site Tuesday.

In a blog, Systrom recalled the moment in 2010 when he and co-founder Mike Krieger realized “the power of images to connect people to what was happening in the world around them.”

It was in chilly October and the Stanford University grads, in overcoats, were huddled in an office on a San Francisco Bay pier. As they worked on code on their laptops, they could hear fans in the distance cheering as the Giants faced the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series. As Systrom recalls:

“While we may only have had a few thousand people around the world using Instagram that night, we had a sense that maybe through Instagram we could tune in to what was happening just a few steps away. With a few quick commands at his terminal, my co-founder Mike’s screen filled with images of the game: the bullpen, dugout, concession stands, cheering fans and a panoramic view from somewhere up high. In a matter of hours, the people in that stadium had recorded moments in time through Instagram and allowed us to tune into an event while we sat a half a mile away, working—winter coats and all.

The rest was picture perfect. The company capitalized on its ability to allow users to upload mobile photos quickly, improve the quality of the photos through the use of filters,and then share them freely on multiple platforms.

Last April, Facebook acquired Instagram in a cash and stock deal valued at about $1 billion. Wired.com reported at the time that Systrom’s 40 percent stake in Instagram netted him $400 million and Krieger’s 10 percent stake got him around $100 million.

Not a bad payout considering a year and a half earlier they were huddled in overcoats on a San Francisco Bay pier, listening to baseball cheers in the distance.

Are you among the millions hooked on Instagram?

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