Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) photo sharing site, Instagram, said at a media event on Thursday that half of the company’s monthly active users access their Instagram accounts every day, according to a report from Tech Crunch. Instagram said it has 150 million monthly active users, which puts the service’s daily users at more than 75 million.
The event was held for Instagram to unveil its new photo messaging service, which gives users a more private way to share photos and videos. The service, called Instagram Direct, opens up new territory for a site that in the past had made all of its users’ photos more or less public.
The success of messaging apps like Snapchat, LINE, and WhatsApp have shown that a more private experience is something users want when communicating via mobile, and especially when sharing pictures. Teens in particular have been moving away from highly public social media outlets like Facebook toward more private options.
Last month, Facebook made a $3 billion offer for Snapchat, a popular disappearing photo messaging app. After Snapchat turned down the cash, rumors started to circulate that Facebook could launch a competing photo messaging service through Instagram. While Instagram’s photo messages don’t disappear a few seconds after viewing like Snapchat’s, the company already has a large and engaged user base that could take advantage of photo messaging.