Last week, Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom announced that the app has more than 300 million active monthly users that share more than 70 million photos and videos every day! Earlier this the year, it was also reported that the average user spent 21 minutes per day on the app.
This milestone marks Instagram’s popularity over Twitter, who reported 284 million active monthly users. According to the Guardian, the app is now the 4th most popular social media application in terms of active monthly users, behind Facebook (1.1 billion), WhatsApp (600 million), and Facebook Messenger (550 million).
This impressive growth in users shows that there has never been a better time to get your business an Instagram account, especially if you are selling products.
In the aforementioned announcement, Kevin Systrom also spoke about the company’s commitment to the continuous improvement of their product, launching a People tab last month which suggest interesting accounts to follow. They have also improved their search capability within the app and similar to Facebook and Twitter, they have added badges to the accounts of verified celebrities, athletes, and brands, making it easier to find authentic accounts of the well-known figures you’re looking for.
In an effort to keep the app as ‘authentic’ as possible, or free of spammy accounts, they have taken measures to delete such accounts permanently, removing them from follower counts to give a more accurate representation.
Advertising on Instagram was launched in the UK in September 2014 although it is not yet available to all businesses. The platform offers native ads that look similar to natural posts users would see from their regular followers and are differentiated only by a ‘Sponsored’ icon in the top right corner (see example below). This is a fantastic opportunity for online businesses looking to increase awareness of the products they offer, giving brands the opportunity to “reach an engaged audience, deliver messages in a focused visual experience, and publish content in a creative, high-quality environment”.
Instagram is especially appropriate for businesses selling clothing, shoes, and accessories as there is a huge audience of fashion-related users. Whether these are fashionistas and bloggers or designers and retailers, there is high engagement with clothing brands on the social media platform.
If you are interested in advertising on Instagram, keep an eye on their business website, but until then optimise your business account to get the most out of this platform. Check out our tips for making Instagram work for your business with ideas for what to post here.