The Facebook owned, photo-sharing social network, Instagram, announced on Wednesday of this week that it has more than 300 million users at the same time unveiling a new system to authenticate it’s celebrity members. The new update means that Instagram has for the first time overtaken it’s rival, Twitter. Twitter has claimed they have 284 million active users at the end of September 2014.

Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom said in a recent blog post, “Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day…Instagram is home to creativity in all of its forms, a place where you can find everything from images of the Nile River to the newest look from Herschel Supply or a peek inside the mind of Taylor Swift.”

Systrom also said Instagram would begin using “verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands,” to assist users in ensuring they are following these members and not a bogus copycat. “These badges will start rolling out over the coming days…We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the Web… we’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts.”

Debra Aho Williamson, from the research firm eMarketer, said that Instagram has potential for advertising with an estimated 52.5 million monthly users in the US alone. “With 300 million monthly users, Instagram’s audience is becoming very attractive to marketers, especially brand advertisers, and its rapid growth will only make it more appealing…Instagram’s ad business is still very new and has a lot of growing up to do—for example, its targeting capabilities are still very limited—but the company’s new authentication initiatives send a message to the ad community that their followers will be real entities and that the impressions they receive will not be fakes or bots.”

300 Million users is a mammoth milestone for any app to reach and we will have to wait and see if they continue to grow with the advent of advertising just edging it’s way in…

[Image via esmis.government]