Technology

Instagram overtakes Twitter with 300 million users, then copies its verified users badges

Andrew Sadauskas /

Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram has overtaken Twitter in terms of user numbers by reaching the 300 million mark, and is marking the occasion by copying a key feature from its rival.

Instagram is adding “verified badges” for celebrities and public figures who use the platform, with the latest feature copying the blue tick image verification system used by Twitter.

Instagram promises the new badges will be rolled out over the coming days. However, the new feature will be limited to high-profile public figures Instagram believes could be impersonated, and there will be no way to apply for a badge.

Meanwhile, in a post on its official blog, chief executive Kevin Systrom said Instagram is cracking down on fake, spammy or inactive accounts. Accounts also risk being deleted if they breach the service’s terms of service, which covers sharing other people’s photos, adult content, illegal content, abusive posts and promotion of self-harm.

Alongside the mass deletions, Instagram is fixing a bug that until now prevented the follower count from falling as accounts are deleted. Systrom said this change could lead to some users experiencing a sudden fall in the number of followers they have in some cases.

More information about verified users is available on Instagram’s help page, while further information about the accurate follower count bug fix is available here.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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