The incredibly popular photo sharing service Instagram has hit 80M users, marking a 30M user increase since its acquisition by Facebook.

The announcement was made on the Instagram Blog, where the team announced the new numbers and also said that users have shared almost 4 billion photos.

Just after it was acquired, Facebook announced that Instagram had some 50M users. Shortly before it was acquired, it launched an Android app and said it had some 30M users, and marked The service surpassed 25M users in March of this year.
This is how Instagram has grown since October of 2010, according to Quora:

Oct 13 2010: 100,000
Oct 20 2010: 200,000
Oct 28 2010: 300,000
Dec 21 2010: 1 million
Feb 01 2011: 1.75 million
Feb 15 2011: 2 million
May 03 2011: 3.6 million
May 26 2011: 4.4 million
Oct 31 2011: 12 million
Dec 5 2011: 14 million
Jan 24 2012: 15 million
Mar 11 2012: 27 million
May 1 2012: 50 million

And now, July 26, 2012: 80 million. Although some expressed their doubts about the future success of the service after Facebook’s acquisition, we weren’t so pessimistic. I made the case that Facebook could have freed up Instagram to continue being what it wanted to be:

I think it’s a win for everyone. Now Instagram doesn’t have to shoehorn a monetization model it would hate —and you would hate — into its service in order to survive. The users get a better experience. Facebook gets more data. Users that are quitting Instagram because the service may be ‘ruined’ are barking up the wrong tree. Facebook sees the value in the network as it is, a photo creation machine with a lot of user love.

Drew Olanoff also thought Facebook got a good deal with the Instagram purchase, saying that it was the YouTube of photos:

In November 2006, Google bought the video sharing powerhouse YouTube for an “astronomical” $1.65 billion. The first video was uploaded to YouTube on April 23rd, 2005. It quickly became the default site on the web to upload video clips of just about anything; dogs, cats, babies, and yes, some copyrighted stuff. You couldn’t discuss video on the web without mentioning YouTube. Does this story sound familiar at all? It sounds like what just happened with Instagram and Facebook, of course.

Regardless of the opinion of pundits, though, Instagram continues to grow at a massive rate. And it shows no signs of stopping now.

Facebook is set to release its first financial report as a public company later today. I’m sure this announcement was pure coincidence.