Instagram Hits 300 Million Active Users, Announces Verified Accounts

Expect blue checkmarks next to the names of celebrities and brands you follow in the next few days

Last Updated: December 10, 2014 @ 9:30 AM

Instagram now has over 300 million active users, and plans on following in the footsteps of Twitter by verifying public figures and brands.

The photo sharing service’s CEO┬áKevin Systrom made the announcement on Wednesday, just months after boasting that Instagram had attracted over 200 million users.

Systrom noted that if users see a small decline in followers, it may be because the social media service is deactivating spam accounts, forever, on an ongoing basis.

Or maybe it’s because you’re taking too many pictures of your feet. Either way, Systrom says the Facebook-owned company is trying its hardest to be as “authentic” as possible.

“People ask, when it comes to public figures and brands, how do I know that the people I discover on Instagram are really who they say they are — how do I know that this person really is Tony Hawk?” Systrom wrote in a blog post. “Today, we’re excited to announce verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, making it easier for you to connect with the authentic accounts you’re looking for. These badges will start rolling out over the coming days.”