In the last couple of years, Instagram has emerged as the world’s premier image-sharing social network. It was launched in 2010 and has since taken the social media world by storm, with no signs of slowing down. It was acquired by Facebook in 2012, and since then many changes, updates, and new features have been added.
One major change that came about in March 2016 is that Instagram did away with their chronological feed and replaced it with a new algorithm. It ranks posts based on engagement so that the images that appear at the top of your feed are more likely to be based on your interests. This has its own advantages and disadvantages. While your overall experience will be improved, your posts could easily get lost if they are not engaging enough. For this reason, it is important to be aware of the best times to post on Instagram. If you post your content at the wrong time, it may get buried, not matter how good it is.
Instagram Statistics 2018
If you’re thinking about using Instagram to market your business, or just want to build up a following, it is important to be aware of the intricacies of this social media platform. Here are some interesting Instagram facts and statistics for the year 2018.
- Currently, there are over 600 million Instagram users, out of which 400 million are active on a daily basis.
- 51% of Instagram users access the platform daily, while 35% use it more than one time every day.
- Instagram is a great tool for businesses to market their products and services. Over 8 million registered companies are currently using Instagram business profiles.
- With over 1 million monthly active advertisers (up from just 200,000 in March 2016), Instagram is an excellent advertising platform.
- Based on an Instagram ad, over 120 million Instagrammers contacted a business or made a transaction in March 2017.
- Since its conception over 40 billion videos and photos have been shared on Instagram.
- On a single day, over 95 million videos and photos are shared by users.
- There are over 16.6 million Google searches for “Instagram” on a monthly basis.
- The “stories” feature is used by 100 million users daily
Instagram Engagement Statistics
- For maximum engagement, the best time to post on Instagram is on Wednesdays at 5 pm.
- Hashtag usage has been proven to increase engagement on Instagram. Posts with at least one hashtag got 12.6% more engagement on an average than those without.
- There were over 282 million selfies on Instagram as of December 2016 and the most used emoji is the heart ♥. When it comes to food, users most commonly upload images of pizza, closely followed by steak and sushi.
- The most commonly used filters are Gingham, Clarendon, and Juno/Lark.
- Emarketer estimates that an additional 26.9 million users will join Instagram between now and 2020.
Instagram User Statistics
- A majority of Instagram users (53%) are between the ages of 18 and 29 years. 32% of teenagers feel that Instagram is the most important social network.
- 25% of Instagrammers are in the 30 – 49 age bracket, and 11% are between 50 and 64 years. 6% of users are over 65 years old.
- In the US, there are about 89.4 million Instagram users (28% of users), and Thailand alone accounts for 1.5 million Instagram users.
- Among all adults who are online, six out of ten have Instagram accounts.
- 26% of Instagram users earn more than $75,000 per year, and 32% of users attended college.
Instagram Advertising Statistics
- In 2016 Instagram brought in $1.53 billion in global mobile ad revenue. This accounts for 8.4 percent of Facebook’s total global mobile ad revenue and represents a 144 percent increase each year.
- According to the latest projections, Instagram is set to reach a global ad revenue of $2.81 billion this year. It accounts for over 10 percent of the global ad revenues of its parent company Facebook.
- This year Instagram has edged out Twitter for the first time regarding the number of U.S companies using it as a marketing platform. 70.7% of businesses currently use Instagram for marketing.
- 60% of Instagram users claim that they have learned about a product or service on Instagram and 50% of users follow at least one business.
Top 5 Brands and Individuals by Instagram Followers
Recently a study was carried out by Union Metrics on 50 of the most popular Instagram brands. The intention was to monitor these brands and discover the practices that work regarding timing and frequency.
The analysis found that most brands post 1– 2 times per day. Some top brands shared posts as many as 10 times per day with no negative consequences. It is also interesting to note that 60% of the top brands use the same filter for practically every post to maintain consistency. The top brands on Instagram are National Geographic with 79.7 million followers and Nike with 73.4 million followers. These are followed by Victoria’s Secret with 56.6 million followers, Real Madrid with 51.3 million followers and FC Barcelona with 51.2 million followers.
When it comes to the number of followers, Instagram itself holds the top spot. This is followed by Selena Gomez who has 117 million followers and Cristiano Ronaldo who has 97 million followers. Beyoncé holds the record for the image with the most number of likes. Her pregnancy announcement post garnered a whopping 11 million likes.
New Features and Trends-2018 and beyond
This year, we are likely to see many subtle and substantial changes in Instagram. Marketers should make sure they are aware of the biggest trends and be ready to adopt them as fast as possible.
Some of these notable trends are mentioned below.
One of the more recent developments on Instagram is their direct feature, which is a private messaging platform. This has been updated and made more streamlined so that shared posts, disappearing photos, videos and private messages all show up on the same thread.
These direct messages can be accessed by swiping right on Instagram. The Instagram icon in blue can be found on the left of the “Write a message” field. By clicking on this, you can send a disappearing video or image. Clicking on the image icon to the right will enable you to send a non-disappearing image or video.
These streamlined, disappearing messages can be used to drive sales by creating a sense of urgency. For example, a business could send a discount code or information about a sale. Since this code needs to be used before the message disappears and users can only replay the message once, it could help customers act quickly. Now that this temporary content has been merged with regular messaging, customers can reach out and ask questions regarding price, availability, etc.
This feature takes Instagram one step closer to a full-on social media take over from Snapchat. However, due to its loyal audience, it is unlikely that Snapchat will be phased out completely.
Shoppable Instagram Features
While some businesses still don’t have access to shoppable Instagram features, a lot more do due to their wider release. Even though these features were launched in October last year, there are finally some advancements and developments.
A large number of jewelry, beauty and apparel brands now have access to this feature. This is a free service and involves tagging a photo with the product information. A “Shoppable” icon then appears in the bottom corner of these posts. Users can “Tap to See Products,” to get an idea of the name, price, dimensions and other product details.
When users click on the information bubble they will be taken to a shopping page with a complete description of the product. This feature is available only on mobile devices. If you have a product catalog synced to your Instagram account, you can also tag pictures with a single product.
Save Instagram Live broadcasts
Instagram Live allows you to stream live video, directly on your phone through the app. One of the main downfalls of Instagram Live is the fact that the video or image is gone forever once the broadcast is done. The lack of permanence has made the feature less than ideal, although it offers a considerable boost in reach. Most businesses opt to use their regular Instagram feed for big announcements due to the temporary nature of live broadcasts.
With the latest updates, live broadcasts can now be saved to your camera roll. Once the broadcast is done, it can be saved and uploaded later as a regular video post. Due to the integration with Facebook, you have the option to post the video directly on this platform as well. This way you can increase the visibility and engagement of your live broadcasts significantly and build momentum. This feature is currently only available for iOS and Android phones.
Carousel Posts – Multiple Images & Videos
This is a new feature that has been quickly adopted by many businesses and users alike. This feature was rolled out slowly a few months ago for iOS and Android users. A Carousel post is a single Instagram post with up to 10 images or videos contained as a slideshow. Users can be tagged on individual images within the post.
Previously the only way to get multiple images onto a single post was by using a layout app to create a collage or through image carousel ads. The new carousel posts are dynamic and engaging, giving them the potential to be a powerful tool for sales and engagement.
Users from certain locations around the world and windows users do not have access to this feature yet. But it is likely to be released to them as well soon. Creating a multiple image post is simple and starts off just like creating any other post. In the bottom corner of the screen, there is a “Select multiple images” option. Click on this and directly upload the images you want to feature in your slideshow. Once uploaded you have the possibility of rearranging the order of the pictures. Filters can be applied to the entire slideshow, or individual images can be edited separately. The last step is to add a caption, hashtags, and tag users.
This feature is useful for brands and individuals alike. For example, a carousel post can be used to show multiple products or features. It can also be useful for step-by-step tutorials. It gives you the chance to tag more influencers in a single post and is a great tool to show the progression of an event or party. Multiple image posts have enormous potential, whether your purpose is to sell, inform or entertain.
Instagram Story Ads
Instagram story ads give marketers and businesses the chance to run ads in Instagram stories. These are a stream of videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours, like Snapchat Stories.
This is a brand new feature that is unlike anything Instagram has done before and is available globally. The objective of these Instagram story ads is to maximize reach by getting the message across to as many users as possible. Additionally, users don’t have to scroll to find these ads as Instagram stories appear right at the top of their feed.
Instagram story ads can be created through Ads Manager or Power Editor. Under the Instagram category, select the “Stories” placement. You can then choose a single image or video that is compatible with Instagram’s formatting requirements. The other options such as setting a budget or audience are the same as creating regular Instagram or Facebook ads.
Instagram story ads are meant to build brand awareness by reaching as many people in your audience as possible. It is a good idea to opt for video story ads as they give you more time to communicate your message to existing and new users. Your ads must be a representation of your brand and business culture. Creating a unique ad will show the audience you are different and keep them interested in your message.
You can also make use of user-generated content, which is an excellent way to win over users. This is a powerful selling tool as it has the potential to capture your audience’s interest at the first touch point.
As businesses continue to build their online presence on various platforms, it is critical to keep marketing practices and social media profiles up to date. Instagram is constantly evolving as a platform and utilizing all the new features and tools will help you stay relevant and command the attention of your audience.
Hashtags on Instagram
Similar to Facebook and Twitter, users post hashtags on Instagram to describe and tag content. Some hashtags are more popular than others. For example, #love is the most common hashtag on Instagram, having been used nearly 1 billion times.
Other popular Instagram tags #instagood and #photooftheday are also among the top ten. These numbers are always changing due to the large volume of content that is posted on Instagram every day. But the themes of love, happiness, and beauty seem to be the ones that resonate most with Instagram users today. Not only is it important to use the right hashtags, but the number of hashtags also plays a role in the amount of engagement your post gets.
How Many Hashtags Should You Use Per Post On Instagram?
“How many hashtags should I use on Instagram?” is a common question that many marketers ask after they’ve discovered the hundreds of potential hashtags to choose from. Up to 30 hashtags can be used on Instagram posts which is much more than the number that is allowed on Twitter. But this doesn’t mean that you should max out and go overboard on every post.
The main issue with using too many hashtags is that you will not be able to understand which ones are driving engagement. It is important to find out which hashtags people are using to find your content. If only a few hashtags are driving engagement, you can stick to the ones that actually work and clean up your posts.
To determine how many hashtags to use for your Instagram posts, follow these 2 steps:
- Study the accounts with the most amount of engagement and analyze how many hashtags they typically use in their posts. If you find that posts with the most engagement are using a minimum of 3 hashtags that will give you an idea of where to start.
- Observe the engagement levels of your posts when you use different numbers of hashtags. Test posts with a few more or less to find what works for you.
To see which posts have maximum engagement you can choose a tool such as Sprout Social’s Instagram Analytics, which will allow you to measure and analyze your results. Check the number of hashtags in your posts that have received the highest engagement to settle on how many to use.
Some Important Tips to Remember When Using Hashtags
- Use a hashtag that is unique and relevant to your campaign. This way people will think of your brand every time they see the hashtag.
- Find out the optimal number of hashtags to use and follow this for all your posts. Avoid using generic hashtags, as they may not get adequate engagement.
- If you’re working with multi-word hashtags, capitalize them so that the words don’t merge. For example, #InstagramSuccess
- Try incorporating your brand name into a creative hashtag. Do some research and ensure that any hashtag you use does not have other unintentional meanings
Instagram’s Image Sizing
When it comes to images, there are certain dimensions that Instagram accepts. In 2015, Instagram started allowing high resolution images. Previously, Instagram allowed only square photos with 640px sides. Now many of these restrictions have been lifted. Larger images with sides of 1080px sides can be used, and these look better.
Before this update, images would be routinely stretched when viewed on a larger or higher resolution screen. Now they look much sharper since the additional pixels provide detail. You can also use much larger images, but these will be reduced to 1080px. Since Instagram has done away with the condition that all photos must be square, you have more freedom to experiment and be creative.
Photo Sizes to Upload
When a photo is uploaded to Instagram, it is converted to a JPEG image with the longest side at 1080px. On most smartphones, the pictures are displayed at 1080px and are automatically stretched if the original image is smaller. This maximizes image sharpness.
The Instagram web app still displays images of 640px, but it is best to upload a picture that is a size of at least 1080px. This is to ensure better quality across devices which are moving to high-density displays.
Profile Page and Thumbnails
Previously, Instagram had a layout with a profile header featuring a tiled montage of images. This has been modified, and the new design is much neater and faster. Your profile info is now at the top, with the montage of thumbnails below. Users can click on the “load more” button to scroll down and view older images. Each thumbnail is about 292px. They are downscaled for display and automatically appear as sharp images on high-density and Retina displays.
When using Instagram on a web browser, you’ll get a large popup version of any thumbnail you click on. This pop-up image is 600px high and 600px wide, reduced from the old 612px. You can also view portrait or landscape images which will be 600px on the longest side.
Your profile picture is displayed differently on the phone and web apps. The image is circular on the phone app whereas it appears as a white-bordered square on the web app. Your profile picture can only be changed on the phone app and not on the web app. Click on the icon in the phone app and tap on the profile image at the top left. You will then be able to select the image of your choice.
Maximum Photo Size
The size of the image is not an impediment to regular use, as Instagram accepts larger images. As images taken on cameras and smartphones are constantly getting bigger, this is a useful and convenient feature.
Popular Image Editing Tools
Some brands have Instagram feeds with images that look like they’ve been shot by a professional photographer. You may be wondering how you can make your own images look so good without spending thousands of dollars on expensive gear. However, the secret to making your photos come to life is the right editing tools.
Today it is easier to create stunning images than ever before. All you need is a smartphone, the right editing apps, and some good lighting. Here are 4 options that will help you take your images to the next level.
Adobe Photoshop Express
You’ve probably already heard of Photoshop, but did you know that there is a simpler app version that you can use on your smartphone?
If you’ve used Photoshop before, you may be hesitant to try the app, because Photoshop is a pretty complicated software. It involves a learning curve, and you cannot get the hang of it immediately. However, the Photoshop Express app is as user-friendly as they come. All you need to do is upload an image and choose from the several options at the bottom of the screen.
This is a favorite of fashion bloggers, and once you use it, it’s pretty easy to see why. It comes with a built-in camera and has plenty of advanced editing features. It involves a slight learning curve, but the creative control and the tons of features it offers are worth the effort. It also comes with a large selection of filters that can be used to beautify your images.
Snapseed has a range of tools and features such as tilt shift, red-eye reduction and a wide variety of filters. It is an excellent addition to Instagram’s existing filters and is useful for amateurs and pros alike. When you need to make elements of a photo pop, such as when adding a logo to an image, Snapseed is the ideal app to use.
Slow Shutter Cam
The Slow Shutter Cam app will help you take long- exposure images using just your mobile phone. So if you’ve even wanted to create stunning photos with glowing shapes hovering in the air at night, this is the right app for you. It does take some practice to get the pictures you want. But the result is amazing images that are worth the effort.
Prime Time for Instagram: Best Time to Post
What is the right time to post on Instagram for maximum engagement? This is a question that’s been asked countless times. Many marketers have attempted to find the ideal times and days for Instagram posts. A recent study conducted by Hubspot, the marketing firm and Later, the Instagram marketing platform unveiled some interesting results. Here are some helpful tips to follow to maximize your reach and engagement on Instagram.
- You are likely to get better results by posting on weekdays rather than weekends. The best days to post are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Do not post on Sundays as people are less likely to visit the platform.
- The peak times to post are between 7 and 9 in the evening. Avoiding uploading posts between 3 and 4 in the afternoon.
- Posting during work hours is not ideal. Post during off work hours for maximum engagement.
Keep Your Target Audience in Mind
All the studies take into consideration a broad range of Instagram posts. But in order to find what works best for you, it is important to keep your target audience in mind. Understand your audience and when they are most likely to be on Instagram. For instance, your followers may be moreactive in the evenings or weekends.
Asking the following questions can help you hone in on your ideal posting time.
- Do they use their phone or computers to access the platform?
- What kinds of jobs are they in? What are their working hours?
- When do they have free time?
- Are they in the same time zone as you?
If a significant number of your followers are in a different time zone, it makes sense to tailor your posts to them, based on when they will be online.
The best way to determine when to post is through observation. Experiment with content and check which days of the week you get the most engagement. Be aware of what times of the day users interact with your content the most. It is also important to track your Instagram Metrics.
Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram does not provide a basic metrics tool. But there are other ways to track how your posts are performing. You can use free tools like InstaFollow or Iconosquare which will help you keep track of your personal trends and engagement levels.
Once you have the best time to post figured out, you can schedule your content. You may not always be available to post at the ideal time, and this is where tools such as Latergramme and Schedugram come in. They are free, easy to use and can get you a bigger following in no time.
In Conclusion: Top Instagram Tips & Tricks
Whether you are a marketer or an individual, the primary objective to strive for is engagement. The more people react to your post, the more it will be shared and reach a larger audience.
Hashtags are a great way to maximize reach. Always ensure that you use popular and relevant hashtags. Study your posts to figure out the right number of hashtags to use.
When possible, tag industry influencers in your posts. They have large social media followings and can help spread your message.
Avoid flooding your followers’ feeds with posts. Once or twice a day is optimal.
Use apps such as Sharer or Shareaholic to add Pinterest buttons to all your images.
Engage with high-quality content from other accounts to create a positive culture of sharing. This would encourage them to share your content in return.