The photo-sharing app Instagram now has 550 million users, reaping the benefits from the growth of selfies and the propensity for celebrities such as Kim Kardashian to share images with a wider audience.
Launched in 2010, it was bought by Facebook for $1bn (£680m) when it had 30 million users.
Kevin Systrom, one of its founders, told Forbes magazine: “500 million is a milestone very few companies get to.
“This scale is not a badge on our uniform, but a signal of our ambition. If we can have a billion or a billion and a half on Instagram, we get closer to capturing every experience in the world.”
More than 80% of its half-billion users are outside the US, the company said, and that 300 million used the app every day.
In a blogpost entitled 500 million windows to the world, Instagram announced its number of users saying: “Whether you’re an illustrator, a sneakerhead or an astronaut on the International Space Station, every photo and video you share helps bring people closer to friends and interests, broadens perspectives and inspires a sense of wonder”.
Earlier this year, Instagram caused controversy by introducing a system that changed the order in which photographs were posted.