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Instagram now larger than Twitter as user tally climbs to 400 million

Usage of the photo-sharing service bought by Facebook in 2012 jumped 25 percent in the past year, with most of its users based outside the US.

Instagram's photo sharing app has become one of the largest social networks for mobile devices. CNET

Even more people are using Instagram.

The photo-sharing service tallied 400 million people who use its app at least once a month, a jump of 25 percent from December, the company said Tuesday. That's also more than the 316 million people who use Twitter.

Instagram said more than half the new users who have joined since last year hail from Europe and Asia. Overall, Instagram said 75 percent of its users live overseas.

For Instagram, the growth marks another milestone supporting Facebook's efforts. The Menlo Park, California-based social-networking giant surprised investors when it purchased Instagram in 2012 for $ 1 billion. At the time, the app was notching little revenue and counted just 30 million users.

Since then, the site has become a case study of Facebook's acquisition strategy. The company has since bought other high profile companies, like messaging service WhatsApp and virtual reality technology maker Oculus VR, and allowed them to run as somewhat independent subsidiaries.

For Instagram, the strategy has helped it become one of the most popular Facebook services. Alongside images of sunsets, cats and today's dinner that many users post, some of the largest brands have begun using it as well. The app was a key part of the recent New York Fashion Week, for example, and Disney used it to debut a new teaser video for its upcoming film, "Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens."

Instagram has slowly begun offering advertising options as well, and so far the company has said it's pleased with results.