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Instagram Stories, the photo-sharing app’s feature allowing users to post pictures and videos for only 24 hours, has hit 500 million daily active users, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday.
Zuckerberg shared the update while taking a victory lap on Facebook’s Q4 earnings call, after the mothership posted strong revenue and user growth to close 2018. It was the first time Instagram had updated its Stories count since last June, when it had 400 million DAUs. The Facebook-owned app now has more than double the amount of Stories users as its chief competitor, Snapchat, which had 186 million daily users when it last reported earnings in October.
The 500 million figure comes just before Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, will report its earnings next Monday. And to make things worse for Snap, which has been plagued by lagging user growth in recent quarters, Instagram essentially copied Snapchat’s Stories feature when it rolled out its own version of Stories in 2016.
Zuckerberg, talking about Stories last October, said it’s the “future” of Facebook’s family of apps. “People want to share in ways that don’t stick around permanently and I want to make sure we fully embrace this.” Facebook rolled out its own Stories feature in 2017, and WhatsApp’s Status — its own version of the feature — has more than 450 million daily users.
Facebook, in its letter to shareholders on Wednesday, said the company estimated 2 billion people use at least one of its apps — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger — each day on average.