When it first launched in 2010, Instagram was a photo-sharing app with a server that too-often crashed. Today it is one of the most successful apps in the world. What changed?
In an interview on NPR podcast, How I Built This, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom credits luck: “I have this thesis that the world runs on luck. Everyone gets lucky for some amount in their life. And the question is, are you alert enough to know you’re being lucky or you’re becoming lucky?”
But it wasn’t just luck. Systrom and his co-founder Mike Krieger had the ingenuity to add flattering filters and to make the app an open network. Now amateur photographers can create photos they feel proud to share and fans can connect with famous people (and brands like yours) that they admire.
Instagram continues to evolve and grow in popularity. The company’s recent addition of an Instagram Stories feature has surpassed 100 million daily active users in just two months. Who knows what they’ll dream up next.
Let’s take a look at a list of Instagram statistics that prove just how essential Instagram is to marketers today.
Instagram usage statistics
Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users
It’s the first question any manager will ask about a social network: are people actually using it? With Instagram, you can respond with a resounding yes. With 500 million monthly active users and counting, Instagram users have proven their love for the platform. Of course, the skeptics will question just how active that active user base really is. Well:
Instagram users have shared over 40 billion photos to date and share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day
Forty billion photos! Can your brain even process that? Instagram was released to the world in 2010, and in under six years, we’ve shared over four times more photos than there are human beings on earth.
Since Instagram was bought out by Facebook, usage has been astronomical. According to Instagram, users now share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day. That number is sure to grow in coming years. Despite the mass evidence in favor of Instagram as a marketing tool, you might be saying, but I’m a global business. Instagram is just an American thing, right? Not quite!
80% of Instagram users come from outside of the U.S.
As Instagram announced in June 2016, 80 percent of all Instagram users come from countries outside of the United States. This means big global ad revenue. According to International Business Times, Instagram is estimated to bring in $1.53 billion in global mobile ad revenue in 2016, which would be a 144 percent increase year-over-year and would amount to 8.4 percent of Facebook’s global mobile ad revenue. By 2017, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues will reach $2.81 billion, accounting for over 10 percent of parent company Facebook’s global ad revenues, according to a report by eMarketer. Maybe you still have doubts. Instagram is only used by a certain demographic right? Wrong.
Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men
Men, women, and folks beyond the binary find Instagram to be an excellent way to share photos and videos with friends. However, women like it just a little bit more.
The 2015 Pew Research study of U.S. residents found that more women use Instagram than men (the study did not track those who identify as gender non-conforming). The study showed that 31 percent of women and 24 percent of men regularly use Instagram to like, share, and post.
The same split goes for younger users. If you are hoping to sell your brand to teen girls on Instagram, you’re in luck. Among teenagers ages 13 to 17 years old, 23 percent of girls and 17 percent of boys use Instagram.
For a more detailed breakdown of Instagram demographics, check out our post on the Top Instagram Demographics that Matter Most to Social Media Marketers.
Instagram users like 4.2 billion posts per day
There’s a reason why some people think Instagram is the happiest place on the internet. In a market where overzealous marketers pay for likes, a platform that encourages its users to give them away for free is a great find.
According to Instagram, users like 4.2 billion posts daily. If engagement is your endgame, Instagram is where it’s at.
Instagram for business statistics
Instagram is used by 48.8%of brands, a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by 2017
Marketers are rapidly increasing their adoption of Instagram to promote everything from clothing to concerts. According to a forecast by eMarketer, 48.8 percent of U.S. brands will use Instagram for social media marketing in 2016.
By 2017, 70.7 percent of U.S. companies will use Instagram for marketing, edging out Twitter for the first time. All aboard the Instagram train, the smart brands are leaving the station.
Top brands post 4.9 times per week on Instagram, an increase of more than 50% over 2015
A social media study conducted by Forrester in 2016 reviewed how the top 50 global brands market on social networks. Forrester evaluated 11.8 million user interactions on 2,489 posts made by 249 branded profiles, and collected data on how many top brands use each social network, how many fans they’ve collected, how often they post, and how often users interact with their posts. They found that the average number of Instagram followers for a top brand is now over 1 million, almost five times higher than in 2015.
Top brands now post 4.9 times per week on Instagram, an increase of more than 50 percent over 2015. Have you wondered how frequently you should be posting on Instagram? If you want to become a top brand, about five times per week is your answer.
60% of the top brands on Instagram use a consistent filter
Creating a look for your brand on Instagram can give your content an identity and recognition. A visual social media report from WebDam found that 60 percent of the top brands on Instagram use the same filter for every post.
Whether it’s Earlybird, Sierra, or Ludwig, pick your favorite filter and stick with it.
B2C marketers are significantly more likely (6%) to increase Instagram activities than B2B marketers (48%)
Businesses probably won’t turn to an image-based social app to learn about another business’s services or products. Though B2B businesses shouldn’t neglect Instagram (we don’t!), B2B interactions usually require more research, more detail, more insight. Instagram is more of a step along their path to purchasing.
But this stat from the Social Media Examiner 2016 Report, is further proof that Instagram just makes sense from a B2C standpoint. For B2C companies, Instagram might be all they need to inspire a purchase. A great picture of a new pair of shoes could easily inspire someone to buy those shoes. An incredible photo of your hotel’s pool might prompt someone to make a reservation.
If you work in a B2C industry, even one with less visual appeal than retail or travel, there really is no excuse to ignore Instagram.
Instagram performance statistics
75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post
Does engagement on Instagram mean consumers are becoming more aware of your brand? According to Instagram Advertiser statistics, 50 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business, 60 percent say that they learn about a product or service on the platform, and 75 percent of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post.
If you’re hoping to spread the word about your business, Instagram is a statistically sound place to invest your time and energy.
Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement.
Hashtags help Instagram users discover content and accounts to follow. The right hashtag, or combination of hashtags, will expose your brand to large and targeted audiences. By making yourself more discoverable on Instagram, you have a better chance of attracting new followers, getting more likes, and increasing engagement.
In fact, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement than those without, according to a study by Simply Measured.