If more proof was needed that images are the most engaging form of content it has come this week in the form of photo sharing app Instagram surpassing 300m active users a month. After being purchased by Facebook in 2012 the social network has gone from strength to strength, attracting 100m users in the last nine months alone. This milestone suggests that the worries many had about the app’s future after the acquisition were unfounded.
The news of Instagram’s success might be cause for Twitter to worry though as it has only added 38m users since March, and it’s falling behind Instagram with its current total of active monthly users standing at 284m.
With some reports suggesting that 93% of the most engaging Facebook posts are photos it is hardly surprising that Instagram has become so popular, and Instagram is making sure that it’s as attractive as possible to brands looking for a new marketing channel. In November a People tab was added highlighting accounts that users might be interested in following and now verified badges for brands and celebrities have been introduced so people can be sure they’re engaging with the genuine article.
In terms of demographics Instagram is particularly popular with Teenagers, who some analysts believe are defecting from Facebook as their parents spend more time on the social network. When it comes to brands taking advantage of the platform it’s a favourite with the fashion world though any industry that can give its audience stylish images has something to gain from using the platform.
It’s not only users that are keen to know they’re following the real deal and in an official blog from Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom, he is keen to point out work that is being done to deactivate spammy accounts. This should offer some reassurance to marketers looking to advertise on the platform. If Instagram is successful in proving its value as an advertising platform then it’s likely this will drive its growth even more.
Current figures reveal that 70m photos are being shared daily on Instagram meaning that, as ever, it’s going to take quality content to stand out in the crowd. Whatever platform you prefer though there’s a good chance of photos boosting engagement. In addition to the impressive engagement rate of images on Facebook studies show that adding an image to a tweet can boost retweet chances by up to 35%.
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