Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom
Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom pledges to remove fake and spam accounts, as company overtakes TwitterReuters

Instagram is now more popular than Twitter, as the photo-sharing app passes 300 million daily users, eclipsing Twitter's 284 million, and introduces verified accounts for the first time.

But despite having more daily users, Instagram is used less frequently than Twitter. The photo-sharing app sees 70 million images and videos uploaded every day, compared to the 500 million tweets sent through Twitter. Both pale in comparison to Facebook, which owns Instagram and has 703 million daily users on its mobile apps.

In the next few days, celebrities, athletes, brands and other notable accounts will start to receive a blue verified badge next to their names, similar to the verification system employed by Facebook and Twitter.

The Facebook-owned company has also pledged to rid its service of fake and spam accounts "on an ongoing basis" to improve the user experience.

"Keeping Instagram authentic is critical," CEO Kevin Systrom said. "It's a place where real people share real moments. We're committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from fake and spammy accounts that plague much of the web,"

Until now, Instagram has only been deactivating spam accounts, but now it will start to permanently delete them, and as a result some users will see a change in their follower count. "Most of you won't see any impact," Systrom said. "If you're one of those who will see a correction, you will receive a notification in the app directing you to additional information."

As for account verification, Instagram says the blue badge cannot be requested, and that "only some public figures, celebrities and brands" qualify. The system is expected to work in the same way Twitter's does, where accounts worthy of verification will be contacted by Instagram. However, BBC Newsbeat claims regular users "who have been impersonated" could also be verified.

It isn't known if these accounts will get extra features and settings, such as being able to hide all non-verified users from their feeds, as is the case on Twitter.

Instagram was founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October 2010 and was acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for $1 billion (£640m) in cash and shares. To cover its mounting server costs, Instagram recently introduced advertising, where companies can pay for a "sponsored post" which appears in the picture feeds of targeted users.