Instagram announced that it now boasts 300 million users, with more than 70 million images and videos shared each day. The platform also announced a more vigilant attempt to eliminate spam accounts, supported by a new verification system for celebrities and brands. Verifications will be handed out to a select few partners beginning this month, with the likelihood that this will become universally available early in 2015.
What Instagram did not specify was whether or not the 300 million referred to overall registered accounts or Monthly Active Users (MAUs), a more accurate number when considering the popularity of a platform. Twitter, for example, noted in its Q3 earnings report that the platform has 284 million MAUs. If Instagram’s numbers do hold true for MAUs, it would put the platform ahead of Twitter, for the time being.
It would not be a stretch to consider Instagram a more popular platform than Twitter, even if the numbers don’t pan out. We are consistently seeing a migration of key demographics moving from the traditional powerhouses like Twitter and Facebook to newer platforms, and Instagram has both the appeal of simplicity and the safety net of being owned and operated by Facebook.
That’s not to say Facebook and Twitter are losing. We are merely seeing a segmentation of how people use those platforms. They are no longer everything to everyone. Twitter, for example, has a firm foothold on the TV-viewing market, so much so that it is now a key indicator for Nielsen ratings.
What this announcement from Instagram does tell us is that our observations on platform segmentation are correct, and tactics for the various platforms should be based on the audiences that gravitate to them. It also validates all those brands and celebrities already there, though Instagram has long been considered a must-have for many when building a digital marketing plan.
If you are interested in exploring new platforms, or would like to know what the next Instagram might be, contact BFG Communications to find out what makes the most sense for your brand.