Rise in Instagram Users Proves App's Dominance

Instagram reported to AdWeek Monday that it has gained 100 million monthly users since April, marking 800 million users worldwide. One of the company’s greatest strengths is undoubtedly the activeness of their users, with 500 out of 800 million opening the app every single day.

This growth in monthly users can be attributed to the launch of Instagram Stories just over a year ago. Stories encourage users to keep opening the app, as content disappears if users don’t tune in frequently. Since the launch of stories, Verge reports that monthly and daily users have grown by an impressive 160%. Today, 250 million accounts use the story feature.

In addition, the launch of stories has deterred from the growth of Snapchat’s share of users, and in turn its advertising power. In the United States, Snapchat has maintained a larger share of new enrollments compared to Instagram, reports Jumpshot. Yet, Instagram dominates internationally, with Instagram’s signups at 61.5% versus 38.5% for Snapchat. As of last month, Snapchat’s daily users were reported at 173 million, consisting of only 30 million new users over the course of the year. Overall, Instagram’s mimicking of the story feature has proven successful in gaining new and increasingly active users.

The rise in daily and overall users also marks an increased demand from advertisers to use the platform to reach potential consumers. Since March, Instagram reports that it has doubled the number of companies’ advertising on Instagram to reach the 2 million mark. Facebook's Carolyn Everson reported that time watching Instagram video is up by more than 80%, and four times as many videos are produced on Instagram since last year. This rise in video can be attributed to Stories as well as the Live feature. The introduction of video by users and advertisers has successfully diversified content on the app. Instagram commented that “businesses are finding more opportunities to connect with their audiences, whether on-the-go or in the moment.”

Growth of Instagram users also poses growth in the influencer marketing industry. As more people use the app, talents have larger potential followings. For example, Pulse’s talent, @captainbarto, has grown from 100,000 followers in January of 2017, to 286,000 followers in September 2017. There is still growth in the influencer market, with opportunity for new talent and existing talent to rapidly grow their followings. In addition to increasing Instagram’s daily users, stories have also increased the impact of influencers. Stories allow talents to connect with followers in a more personal capacity, sharing their daily lives. This becomes an asset for brands as well, who can use influencers' stories to reach potential customers. Out of the 500 million daily users of Instagram, influencers gain a large number of impressions, marking opportunities for companies to advertise on Instagram through partnerships. As Instagram continues to grow, so does the power of influencer marketing for brands to reach increasingly engaged audiences.