Instagram Stats … Lots to Learn From Current Data

It is a fact of the internet that every click, every view, and every sign-up is recorded somewhere. And theoretically, available forever. Depending on your view, this is either very creepy or fantastically interesting. As I can be a data nerd at times, I fall firmly in the second camp. With a little effort, you can discover all sorts of interesting stats about most anything. We spend time keeping up with social media sites and users, so we’ve collated the best of them in this Instagram stats list.

Instagram stats
Instagram stats.

Social media use isn’t quite universal—but it’s getting close. Seventy percent of the U.S. population now has at least one social networking profile; more than half use two or more social networks. The number of worldwide social media users is projected to grow from 2.1 billion last year to 2.5 billion by 2018.


For the curious, these represent a series of numbers that boggle the mind, users counted in tens and hundreds of millions, and time in millions and billions of hours.

Related post: Social Media Platforms … The Magic Every Content Marketer Needs


For marketers, knowing the statistics behind the social networks can help define strategy, allowing focused targeting of users.


Instagram is the new star in the zoo of social networks. When talking about influencer marketing what many people are talking about is Instagram influencer marketing. Some people dream of Instagram fame – others already got there.

But what is it about this social network that is all about photos that make it so popular? Who is on there, how active is the audience and what can you achieve by hopping on the bandwagon? Can you start writing your own Instagram success story or is it already too late and the places in the spotlight already taken?

Here are some facts and numbers that can tell you a lot about Instagram and the marketing potential it has.


Over 1/3 of Instagram users are on Instagram for surveillance (yes, surveillance!)

Knowledge-gathering is the No. 1 reason people use Instagram, followed by Documentation

Have you ever wondered why your followers chose to use Instagram? Research says: to keep tabs on you (and your brand).

A research team at the University of Alabama performed a study on the motivation of using Instagram. They asked over 200 undergraduate students how often they use Instagram for each of 20 given reasons such as “to follow my friends,” or “to depict my life through pictures.” Here’s the full list:

After analyzing the results, the research team narrowed down the 20 reasons into four main motivators for using Instagram:


Surveillance – People use Instagram to keep up with or gain knowledge about what others such as their family, friends, and strangers are doing.


Documentation – Many use Instagram to document moments of their lives, and Instagram becomes a virtual photo album for those key moments.


Coolness/Popularity – People use Instagram to appear cool and to gain popularity. Having a following and receiving likes satisfy our psychological need to feel seen and valued.


Creativity – People use Instagram to portray their skills by posting creative posts.

Here’s how I interpret the findings.: When someone chooses to use Instagram, 36 percent of why they use Instagram is because they want to know what others (or your brand) are doing.  10 percent is because they want to document moments of their life.  8 percent is because they want to be cool and popular. Finally, 6 percent is because they want to show off their creativity. The remaining 40 percent was not accounted for by the study.


All four motivators lead to more time spent on Instagram — but in different ways. Here are some points showing the relation of motivations to activities:


People who are driven by any of these four motives tend to spend more hours on Instagram than those who are driven by other motives not accounted for by the study.

Instagram users who want to appear cool or creativity tend to spend more time editing their photos than those who are motivated by other reasons.

Those who use Instagram particularly to appear cool and to gain popularity tend to use hashtags more frequently than the rest of the users.


Instagram Stats … 500 Million Monthly Active Users

By June 2016 Instagram had 500 million monthly active users. That is a rise of a solid 100 Million from September 2015. So far it does not look as if the growth of users on Instagram is slowing down. More and more people enjoy the community around sharing photos.

instagram statistics website
Instagram statistics website.

59% of users use Instagram daily

The community on Instagram has already been active before, but the number of people that use Instagram daily still increases. It seems as if nothing of the shiny new attraction is rubbing off and the user experience is still driving activity.

Instagram’s user base is growing fast

Instagram is still growing insanely fast with 15% growth rate – and expected to keep up growing fast for several years to come.

Are you on Instagram If not, what are you waiting for?

Instagram will make more ad revenues than Google and Twitter in US mobile by 2017

Instagram is very lucrative for its parent company Facebook considering add revenues. Bringing in more than 500 Million $ in ad revenues in 2015. For 2016 the ad revenues are expected to double more than that amount and development will continue in 2017.

Young people love Instagram

While over all Internet users around 28% of people use Instagram, in the age group 18 – 29 Instagram is far more popular. 55% of these young adults use Instagram.


Over 50% of teens between 13 and 17 use Instagram.

In some industries the follower growth rates on Instagram are outstanding

While on some social networks growing a following takes a lot of effort – or even advertising money, on Instagram in some industries growing the following fast is still not only possible.

Especially for B2C industries like apparel, beauty and home goods follower growth rates for Instagram are exceptional.

instagram user statistics
Instagram user statistics.

Instagram Stats … 80% Instagram users are from outside the US

The Instagram community is very global. With 80% of Instagrammers not from the US, the adoption of Instagram outside the US is fairly high – compared to other social networks.


Over 80 Million photos are uploaded every day

The most prominent account right now is Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez has a stunning 99,5 Million followers. Since she is right now taking some time off – her last photo dates August 15 – this might change in the future.


50% of comments are posted within the first six hours after a photo was posted

Compared to other social networks that show a fairly long lifetime of an Instagram post. On Twitter, the lifetime of a tweet is around 10 min.


  Approximately 8% of Instagram accounts are fake

Nobody wants to waste time talking to fake accounts. A study by an Italian security firm found that almost 8% of Instagram accounts are fake.

Source: Business Insider

29% of users are inactive

The same study by Italian security researchers also found that 29.9% of Instagram accounts appear to be inactive. These accounts post fewer than one photo or video per month.

Source: Business Insider

Engagement with brands is ten times higher than on Facebook

Engagement with brands is outstanding on Instagram. None of the other big social networks can claim engagement rates anywhere near what is going on on Instagram. The engagement with brands on Instagram is ten times higher than on Facebook – and Facebook is by far more engaging than the other networks.

One-third of Instagram users have used their mobile to purchase a product online

This fact makes Instagram users a group of people that are 70% more likely to purchase a product online than non-Instagram users.

Source: GlobalWebIndex

Over 50% follow brands

53% of Instagrammers follow their favorite brands on Instagram. Again that is the highest percentage for all the major social networks.

Posts with a location see 79% more engagement

Other factors that influence engagement seem to be mentioning other people’s user handle ( an increase of engagement by 56%), and the use of hashtags as posts with at least one hashtag see an increase of 12.6% in engagement.

Despite its success story, only 31% of B2C marketers name Instagram „very important“ as a marketing channel

B2B marketers find Instagram even less important to their marketing with only 8% of marketers naming it as „very important“ to their marketing.

Related post: 11 Updates to Starbuck’s Creativity and Innovation


Photos with faces are 38% more likely to get likes than photos without faces

Make it personal. And even if you do not like the selfie hype, they are not very likely to go away anytime soon.

With all of the above numbers, we have to keep in mind that Instagram is still on the rise and growing in many aspects. Brand adoption can pick up speed as Instagram gets even more popular and word gets around about brand’s success stories. There is still a lot of room for marketing success on Instagram. Best practices and case studies will make the headlines, and more brands will adopt them. Bloggers have already found many ways to market their blog on Instagram– and more will follow.



The bottom line for marketers


Understand your audience’s habits and motivations for using Instagram or other social media platforms. This can inform your strategy for each social media platform.

For example, on Instagram, you can fulfill your followers’ desire to know more about you and your brand by revealing more about yourself or your customers (through user-generated content).




Need some help in capturing more customers from your social media marketing or advertising? Creative ideas to help the differentiation with your customers?


Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.

Call Mike at 607-725-8240.


All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.


When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.


Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.


Are you devoting enough energy innovating your social media strategy?


Do you have a lesson about making your advertising better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?


Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.



Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.



More reading on social media marketing and advertising from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:

6 KLM Airlines Marketing Examples for Winning Campaigns

Visual Marketing … 15 Remarkable Content Examples

Starbucks Marketing … 9 Ways They Employ Social Media Innovation

Instagram Stats … Lots to Learn From Current Data



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Instagram Stats … Lots to Learn From Current Data