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Mobile photo-sharing phenom Instagram didn’t need an Android application or any help from Facebook to post remarkable gains in unique web traffic in March.

Instagram, the Facebook-purchased photo-sharing app with little web presence to speak of, actually landed on analytics firm comScore’s March list of top 10 gaining properties by percent change in U.S. unique visitors.

comscore top gaining web properties march

Above: click to enlarge

The Instagram iPhone app pushed enough click-throughs to web-hosted versions of photos to net the startup the number nine spot on comScore’s list, with 19 percent growth in U.S. uniques between February and March. Instagram attracted 8.2 million unique U.S. visitors in March, according to comScore’s calculations.

What’s this boil down to? Essentially, that the Instagram network effect — users post photos in the app and push them out to other social networks where folks click to view the image on the web — was alive and well before Facebook came calling.

comScore’s report reflects traffic to Instagram’s web site for March only, which means the gains in uniques don’t include the post-acquisition frenzy or even factor in the likely uptick in uniques from the Android application, released in early April. And keep in mind that these are web-only traffic figures and don’t account for mobile activity, which is Instagram’s bread and butter.

When the April numbers do roll in, the month will likely go down as a record-breaker for Instagram. For starters, we already know that the Android application and the Facebook buy helped Instagram sign up roughly 10 million new members in 10 days.

Photo credit: bourguiboeuf/Flickr

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