Instagram, the online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service turns five this October sixth. The site, which currently boasts over three hundred million monthly active users, was an instant hit after amassing one million users by mid-December 2010, just three months after its launch to the public. By September of the following year, that number had grown to ten million users and Apple had named it the ‘iPhone App of the Year’ for 2011.
Users became enraged when they found out that that their photos might be used in commercial advertising and licensed to third parties without their consent. Instagram later reversed its policy change as a result of the backlash.
By February 2013, the site had one hundred million users. The ubiquitous ‘Selfie’ became so popular on the site that it permeated pop culture, entering the Oxford English Dictionary as the ‘Word of the Year’ in 2013. 2014 saw a slew of new and improved creative tools and software updates. By years end, Instagram had three hundred million users who were sharing seventy million images a day.
Seventy percent of its user base live outside the USA and fifty-three percent of users are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-nine years of age. Almost a quarter of users are college graduates. The average caption on Instagram is one hundred and thirty-eight characters long. This includes hashtags. Captions that include ‘@mentions’ receive fifty-six percent more engagement, compared to those that do not include another user handle. Even by doing something as simple as adding a location to a post, can lead to seventy-nine percent higher engagement.
The most interesting statistic however in terms of brand engagement, is how Instagram compares to its parent company. It delivers fifty-eight times more brand engagement per follower compared to Facebook. For more information about the evolution of Instagram, have a look at this Gifographic created by One Productions to celebrate Instagram’s fifth birthday.