In December of 2014, Instagram announced that it hit the 300 million mark when it comes to active users on a monthly basis, finally surpassing Twitter after years of being in the social media competitor’s shadow. How did the photo sharing site catch up to and finally outdo its uber-popular counterpart?

It probably all started when Facebook opened up the piggy bank and purchased Instagram for an obscene amount of money ($768 million). Suddenly, Instagram went from becoming popular through word of mouth to being owned by the biggest name in social media. With over 1.3 billion Facebook users, maybe 300 million Instagram users should sound like too few.

Instagram is a much more manageable form of social media for most people. I don’t know about you, but I could never possibly see every tweet from every account that I follow. On Instagram, however, I can check a couple of times per day and see everything. It is just a very convenient way to see diverse content without being spammed by a ton of stuff I don’t care about.

It is unfortunate that Instagram is a little restrictive as far as digital marketing is concerned. It’s basically just a customer engagement tool as far as businesses are concerned. Plus, if companies lose credibility over an employee posting a 140 character tweet, imagine what would happen if they posted an offensive image (especially if you count a picture as 1,000 words)?

In short, Instagram is all about user engagement, and that is what makes it such a popular social media choice. For businesses who want to venture into the Instagram world, keep in mind the reason people check their Instagram. Sell less, and work on brand perception more. They’ve added about 50% to the user base in the past nine months, so the app must be doing something right.