CreativityEngaging Culture

The Rise of Instagram and Who’s Using The App

Recently, Cowen and Company released a report on the mobile app Instagram. The app launched in 2010 and was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion. As of last year, the app started selling advertising. Here’s a few things the report revealed:

– Total users: 300 million. A number that should double over the next 5 years.

– Most users of the app are female, and 72% of those female users are between 18-44 years old. 44% are 18-29 years old.

– Those 18-44 year old women spend an average of 21 minutes a day on the app.

Marketers are finding the app more interesting than ever, and it’s expected to generate about $681 million in 2015, and grow to $5 billion by 2020, beating out rivals Snapchat and Pinterest.  Earlier in the app’s growth, Fortune magazine explained the Instagram phenomenon this way:

“Just as Kodak’s invention of a roll of film made it easy for almost anyone to take photographs a century ago, Instagram’s invention of a social feed paired with easy-to-use editing tools makes everyone capable of creating and sharing nuanced, edited pictures today. And that photo sharing has empowered people in powerful, unexpected ways—even those not named Kardashian or Bieber. A 13-year-old professional skateboarder, for instance, can draw a large audience for a practice skate session with one photo posted to his 42,000 followers. And an Oxford, Miss., mom who started using Instagram to exchange photos with her sister has amassed an audience of 530,000. Her photos were so popular she set up a storefront and began selling prints—enough to quit her job. Much as YouTube did for Google, Instagram has put Facebook squarely in the heart of an increasingly important medium for communication.”

What’s the most surprising thing to you about the popularity of Instagram?

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  1. I didn’t know the majority were women.
    I think all the ‘look at my account’ tricks are interesting.

    Most of my followers are spam accounts.
    By following someone, it’s a way to get you to click on their account link.

    So all those ‘likes’ people strive for, the majority are fake accounts.
    So it just seems like the obsession to have the most followers is a placebo.

    Advertising and marketing teams follow insta hashtags to deem which words are valuable or misused and useless.

    So they tag what’s popular even if it’s not relevant to their photo just to get you to see your photo.

    I find it funny how no matter how technology changes, we are always up to the same tricks on different platforms.

    I’m also creeped out by the number of 9-13yr old boys that randomly follow me listing themselves as single along with the amount of women clearly offering services… :/

    1. OK Rachel – you win for “follower weirdness.” 🙂 Although you’re especially correct when it comes to porn. Porn sites use all kinds of hashtags just to pop up on random searches. Bad stuff indeed…

  2. IG became more relevant in our house this week when our 12yo requested an account. Wasn’t aware of the amount of kids on IG. A fair swath of his friends have an account, in spite of the TOS agreement (13 yo). So the ‘NBT’ in social media opened up a new beachhead where the parents aren’t vs facebook, and a vastly diff experience vs twitter. It is an interesting app that challenges me in social media trying to balance where I need to spend time vs. what I want to communicate/or get back from the experience.

    1. What scares me in your situation Abe is how easy it is to access porn on the app. Many of the porn sites use innocent hashtags when they post their photos. So clicking #sunset or #friends, etc. can lead to some bad stuff. In the hands of a 12 year old, I would be nervous…

  3. I’m beginning to realize and leverage the power of community on Instagram. Christians have an opportunity to foster real engagement and Gospel-focused community with a broad audience. #Socality is a great example of this and I’m happy to be working with their team.

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