Instagram has publicized that more than five-hundred million people now use the photo-sharing service, making it one of the fastest-growing social networks of all time. The Facebook-owned app has grown by 25 per cent since September, adding more than 10 million new users every month.
When Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg paid $1 billion (£660m) for Instagram in 2012, many at the time were unconvinced of its value, but the growth in users more than justifies the valuation.This rate of growth far outpaces its peers Facebook and Twitter, whose user growth has stalled at roughly 310 million monthly active users.
At last count, 75 per cent of its users live outside the United States where the app was born, with roughly 14 million in the UK. What’s more, it claims that 60 percent of its users discover products and services on the platform, while 75 percent of them said they take action after being inspired.
James Quarles, global head of business and brand development at Instagram, told Adweek at Cannes Lions last week about how his platform is focused on discovery rather than direct response. A report by PwC predicts the UK market for digital video advertising on social networks and news websites will expand by nearly 25 per cent every year for the next five years. The app is expected to bring in $1.5 billion in revenue in 2016, according to eMarketer.
Customers aren’t passive. They choose brands based on how they speak to them, not the information in broadcast marketing messages. Social media isn’t an advertising channel, it changes the way businesses interact with customers and gives the opportunity to increase customer engagement. Brands that don’t adopt a digital outlook will be left behind. The overwhelming success of using social media channels like Instagram to broadcast a targeted and measured message that resonates with consumers and generates action underlines the importance.