Social Media Marketing

49 Instagram Facts Every Entrepreneur Should Know

When Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger first created Instagram almost a decade ago, they couldn’t have imagined their idea to evolve into what it is now. Sure, people did take and share photos ever since cameras have been invented, but nothing like the way they do now with this popular social media platform. From regular selfies, amazing and sometimes even bizarre camera shots, disappearing videos, Instagram has changed the way people shared their stories.

But that’s not all there is to Instagram. Read on to learn 50 fun facts (less 1) about one of the world’s most loved apps.

How Instagram started

Did you know that the first-ever photo posted on Instagram was that of a dog? Well, not just any dog. We’re guessing it’s Kevin Systrom’s pet, but hey! Don’t go spreading that around. Anyway, this photo was first uploaded by Kevin (@kevin) on July 16, 2010, as a test photo. And yes, that’s a few months before Instagram was officially launched on October 6, 2010.

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A post shared by Kevin Systrom (@kevin) on

Less than two years after its inception, though, Mark Zuckerberg decided that he wanted to buy the app. And so, on April 9, 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for a whopping $1 billion. When Facebook bought it, Instagram only had roughly 30 million users, but Zuckerberg saw a huge potential in what he calls an app created by “extraordinary product leaders.” And of course, 7 years later, we know he’s right.

A year after Facebook bought the social media app, Instagram started featuring select brands. That was October 2013, but it took until September 2015 for Instagram to officially open its advertising features to all brands. And did you know that to date, some 2 million advertisers post on Instagram every month? Cool, right? Anyway, where were we? Oh, 2015. Let’s move on to 2016.

When Instagram announced in June 2016 that it would be switching to a non-chronological feed, a lot of users weren’t happy. Of course, the complaints died out after some time when users were told that this change would mean missing out less on posts made by those they followed. After two months, in August 2016, Instagram Stories was launched, which allowed users to upload snips of their day without having to post them on their actual feed. Now, users could post photos and videos that will only be visible for 24 hours. And did we mention, you could add stickers to your posts too? And then things just got better by June 2018, when Instagram launched IGTV or Instagram TV. This standalone app allows Instagram users to post longer videos compared to what you are allowed to post on your feed or Instagram Stories.

Now here’s a cool fact: Did you know that within 24 hours from when Instagram introduced videos, more than 5 million videos were shared? That many videos in a day. We’ll let that sink in for a bit.

So, how much is Instagram worth?

That’s a good question, given that Instagram has grown a lot from being just an app where users could share their photos to being an advertising tool.

Remember how Zuckerberg paid $1 billion for the app? Well, in 2015, it was forecasted that Instagram’s mobile ad revenues would hit some $2.8bn by 2017. That didn’t happen. Instead, Instagram hit $4.1bn that year, and there seems to be no stopping this social media giant. This 2019, eMarketer predicts that Instagram would hit a record high revenue of $10.87bn, proving that Zuckerberg made a good choice when it bought the app nine years ago. Way to go, Mark!

Who’s who on Instagram?

First of all, one of the most followed brands on Instagram is National Geographic (@natgeo), with over 127 million followers. And the person who’s got the most number of followers on the platform right now is Cristiano Ronaldo, with over 192 million followers! More than National Geographic’s followers.

So, if they’ve got that many followers on Instagram, how many users are actually on the platform?

If you’re thinking that there must be hundreds of millions of users on Instagram, you would be right … almost. Statistics tell us that Instagram has grown from just 30 million users last 2012 to 1 billion monthly users. And we’re not even talking about inactive Instagram users yet, which number around 29.9% of Instagram accounts.

Any guesses as to which three countries top the list of having the most number of Instagram users? If you have the United States at the back of your mind you would be correct. The United States ranks first in the world in terms of the number of Instagram users, followed by Brazil and India. Also, a report shows that 37% of Internet users in the United States are on Instagram. It definitely won’t be long before half of the Internet user population in that country is on Instagram. If you’re curious if your country has made it to the top ten, feel free to check the official list here.

Of the 1 billion active users on Instagram, 60% log in every day. Sixty-three percent if you want to be exact. And 8% of those accounts are fake. Now go ahead, do the math. But you know what that means? That means it’s the world’s most engaged network next to Facebook. Most of the population on Instagram, 75% of them, are aged 18 to 24, and 90% are under 35. And would it surprise you to know that the majority of them are males? Who would have expected males to love the app more than girls? Instagram is making its mark among this young demographic, with 32% of US teens stating that they view the app as more important than all other social networks.

Now let’s talk about the numbers

Did you know that to date, over 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram and that users make up to 3.5 billion likes daily? Also, a 2016 report showed that some 95 million photos and videos are posted on average every day, although we’re pretty sure that figure has already gone up this year, given that Instagram usage has doubled between the years 2016 and 2018.  

Now, can you try to guess what the most popular Instagram post is to date? No, it’s not the photo of the dog that Kevin first posted in 2012. The most popular photo is that of an egg. Not pizza, even if that’s the most popular food on Instagram next to sushi, chicken, and curry. And the person with six posts that got into the Top 20 most popular Instagram posts of all time is none other than Kylie Jenner. Knowing Kylie, that’s not much of a surprise, is it?

But what about advertising on Instagram?

In terms of brand engagement, Instagram outperforms all other social media platforms—even Facebook. And here’s another thing: 60% of Instagram users, that’s the majority, actually discover new products on Instagram. Half of the number of Instagram users follow brands on the platform, and over a third of all Instagram users purchase stuff online using their mobile devices.

With the app being so popular among those who make online purchases, it is unsurprising that advertisers flock to Instagram to promote their products to this demographic. If we do a fact check, we’ll find that there are at least 25 million brand accounts on the platform, and at least 80% of the users are following one of these brands. Ninety percent of the top 100 brands in the world have an Instagram account. Also, almost all U.S. fashion brands, 95% to be exact, are promoting their products on the app.

The level of engagement on Instagram has soared to a staggering 416% in the past two years, most of which is thanks to the strategies that advertisers have utilized recently. Their strategy? To include handles and hashtags as well as tag locations to their posts. And one more thing: To post more photos than videos, because apparently, users engage more with photos.

Research shows that posts with handles gain 56% additional engagement and that those with at least one hashtag on their posts get 12.6% more engagement. If we check the statistics, we’ll see that least 70% of the most popular hashtags are associated with a certain brand. Also, in terms of brand engagement, the highest percentage of engagement is with posts that have a tagged location, gaining 79% more than those without locations indicated.

Now, what?

If you’re a budding entrepreneur looking for a way to boost your conversion rates, you now know where to start promoting your products. The numbers don’t lie—Instagram is one of the most popular platforms that you would do well to consider.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that Instagram is the only great platform for you to start advertising, but it is a great place to start.


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