The internet and modern society have been a buzz with social media apps. These have brought major changes in the way we communicate.

Although there are criticisms about embracing social media too much, the growth doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.

Among the very many social platforms, one stands out for one thing: photos and videos.

With so much attention on visuals all over the internet, there is little questioning as to how much growth Instagram can achieve.

According to, as of October 2018, Instagram was the 6th largest social network globally. Looking at the US market alone, Instagram is only second to Facebook, its parent company.

Released after Twitter but surpassing it in popularity, we sought to know more about this platform. Here is what we found out.


1. Instagram was first launched in October 2010 for the iOS platform. The Android version came in April 2012. With this release, the app was downloaded more than 1 million times in less than a day.

This was due to the anticipation already built up among Android users. With Android having a larger market share in the mobile OS industry, the numbers were expected to be high.

But more than 1 million downloads on day 1? That’s not what was expected.

2. The founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger were former students of Stanford University. Kevin holds a BS in Management Science & Engineering while Mike has an MS in Symbolic Systems.

They had worked for different companies before coming together for this project. The initial app was called “Burbn” before changing the name to Instagram. Both Kevin and Mike left Instagram in September 2018.

3. Although iOS and Android have for long been the biggest names on mobile, Nokia pressured Instagram to release a version for Windows Mobile. The campaign was in the form of an app called #2InstaWithLove.

This was a photo-sharing app created by Nokia. Once you take a photo, it automatically added the hashtag to it. The intention was to have as many creative photos shared socially.

According to Nokia, this was “…all about showing Instagram just how passionate the Windows Phone community is…”

The pressure paid off, somehow.

In November 2013, the Windows Phone community got Instagram.

There was a problem though: no video capability. It was however reported that Instagram planned to upgrade the app.

4. The upgrade never happened. This left the users of Windows Mobile a bit disappointed and they decided to look for alternatives.

Around two and a half years later, in April 2016, Instagram released a version for Windows 10 Mobile. Later on in October the same year, a version for Windows 10 PCs and tablets was released.

Although this was embraced, there were limited capabilities to be expected. Primarily, a PC cannot work in a similar way to a mobile device. Especially if you want to take a picture.

5. June 2018 saw the launch of IGTV (Instagram TV). This was the beginning of watching long-form videos. Although it launched as a standalone app, Instagram users could watch longer videos from within the app with no need to download IGTV.

6. As at June 2018, Instagram had 1 billion users. This was a tremendous growth worth recognition especially after it surpassed Twitter. However, the two platforms are quite different and their roles in the social world make them appeal to different kinds of users.

7. In August 2016, Instagram launched Stories.


8. The top three industries in Instagram are fashion, beauty, and e-commerce. It’s not a surprise that users love fashion considering that there is more to it than just clothing.

Apart from the functional use of clothing and accessories, fashion is also an expression of personality.

This is why people will want to identify with brands they think help them bring out their personalities. Or celebrities they see as having similar traits as they do. Of course, there are also those who just want to be like the celebrities.

9. Out of the over 1 billion registered users, at least 80% follow a business. That is definitely the reason behind e-commerce being the third best-performing industry on the platform. It has also been reported that the cost of ads on Instagram has gone up.

This is due to the high competition that brands now find themselves in. Some have reportedly switched to Facebook ads which are relatively cheaper.

For Instagram however (and Facebook as well), there isn’t much of a loss in that. These two companies are one thing.

10. The number of businesses on the platform is upward of 8 million. Having been once a “no-revenue” platform, this is an impressive number. It was brought about by the desire for businesses to take advantage of the millions of users in search for new customers.

If you are a business, here is what you can do to get started and grow.

11. Instagram conversion rates are very high. 30% of users have bought something they first saw on the platform. Ask any marketer and they will tell you that getting such a high conversion rate is not easy.

So when you get it through a third party, you might as well grab it with both hands.

12. Weekdays are the most engaging days on the platform, with Thursday being the best day to post. Sundays are the least engaging days.

For maximum engagement, the best time to post your content is Wednesday at 3 pm, Thursday at 5 am, 11 am and between 3 to 4 pm. On Friday, it is 5 am.

13. Out of all the stories posted by brands, 36% of them are product promotion. This is just the business side of Instagram. Brands are working hard to promote their products to increase sales.

14. 59% of the stories lead users to a shopping page while 23% lead to another social platform. E-commerce is big on Instagram and brands are not wasting the opportunity. The 23% leading users to another platform are probably looking to increase blog traffic. This is multichannel marketing.

15. The most popular face filters for Stories are the puppy ears, sleep mask and bunny ears. Talk of the ease of changing your looks with no need for a surgery.

16. Instagram Stories enjoy more than 400 million users daily. This success, copied from Snapchat, became popular as it helped ease the pressure on the users to share only the best photos. This had become an issue and could lead to decreased registrations and usage.

Another reason it was successful is that the stories were easy to find. They were always at the top of users’ feeds.

17. More than 30% of users watch Instagram Stories every day. The audience for content is definitely available and growing.

18. The industries with the most watched Stories are Fitness (73%), Fashion (70%), Retail (56%) and Technology (43%).


19. In 2016, Instagram ditched the reverse chronological order of feeds. This is where the most recent updates are shown first. Although it makes a lot of sense, it results in a situation whereby you can easily miss out on some of your friends’ posts which are not recent.

With this change, the platform adopted an algorithmic style.

The algorithm was designed to recognize your friends and the kind of posts you liked. It then made these posts available considering them to be the kind of content you wanted to see.

This resulted in users being able to see 90% more of relevant content.

20. That change was not only great for individual account holders but businesses too. Since businesses are followed by individuals, now businesses could be confident that their posts were not being missed by their followers.

Brands ended up experiencing a 105% increase in interactions for their posts. With higher interactions come higher conversion rates so that was a plus for everyone.

21. Whereas Instagram does not claim ownership of the content you post and share on the platform, it actually has some rights over it. And these rights are given to it by none other than you.

If you don’t remember being told anything like that, it could be that you didn’t read their Terms of Service.

Just so you know, the people behind the app can “…host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings).”

22. According to the same Terms of Service, your content can be sub-licensed. This means that it can be sold to a third party for purposes not explicitly mentioned in the Terms. Keep in mind that this can happen without any prior communication to you.

To put this into perspective, a brand could for example ask for your photo for use in their campaign. This can be given by Instagram, either for free (not likely) or for a fee without you being told about it. Or being given a share of it.

23. It is very okay to use more than one hashtag per post. In fact, those who use more stand better chances of receiving more interactions. Hashtags have been in use for a long time and there are some differences in how they work in the different social platforms.

For Instagram, the optimum number is 11 hashtags. Once you post something and add up hashtags, you allow your post to join conversations with similar discussions. You therefore increase impressions and interactions.


24. There are over 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram. Now this is a figure every marketer should take note of. This number means that these ads are paying off. So the brands advertising on Instagram are getting the results they expected or hoped for.

The only catch, as is the case with the social media world, is that what is posted must be valuable to the users. A lot of work has to be done behind the scenes before you start enjoying the attention of those you seek to reach.

25. Users under the age of 25 spend an average of 32 minutes on the platform per day. Those over 25 years spend 24 minutes.

26. Posts by celebrities get the most interactions. Their interactions come to a median of 438 million weekly interactions. This is more than twice the weekly interactions generated by the media (216 million). Brands follow with 192 million.

The most popular celebrity on the platform is Cristiano Ronaldo. He has more than 148 million followers. The No. 1 position was previously held by Selena Gomez.

Others with a high number of followers include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (128M +), Kim Kardashian (125M +) and Beyoncé (122M +).

27. There are over 500 million daily users on the platform. This is one of the numbers which make the platform attractive to businesses. If you are a marketer, the possibility of just a fraction of those people seeing your ads is nothing short of thrilling.

As evidenced by many other stats, a large audience guarantees more interactions and ultimately more conversions. Here is a video with tips on how to get followers, even if you’re just getting started.

28. 82% of Instagram users aged between 18 and 24 years use the platform daily. Of these, 55% log in several times a day. If you want to know how addictive Instagram is, then here is the answer. Not only are young adults on IG daily, but more than half of them could be said to be there “always.”

29. 83% of users are influenced by what their friends post about businesses. As a result, they check out those brands for themselves. This is the clearest indicator as to why businesses love Instagram. All they have to do is attract one of your friends and the results follow.

30. As of October 2018, the US had the biggest number of monthly users. The number was reported to be at 121 million. This was followed by India with 71 million then Brazil with 64 million. This is because the American population is very engaged and it easily embraces technology.

31. Among the people accessing the platform via desktop computers, the majority were from the US. Their traffic accounted for 15.33%. This was almost double that of Russia at 8.1%. They were followed by Brazil (6.91%), Turkey (4.57%) and the UK (4.07%).

This is obviously a small figure but the reason is that Instagram is first of all a mobile app. Although the desktop version could help people get better pictures, more people gravitate towards mobile for simplicity of use.

32. At least 39% of Instagram users in the US are female with their male counterparts following at 30%. It is known that women are more communicative than men so this stat makes a lot of sense. Apart from just communicating, it’s easier for women to share the stories of their lives compared to men.

33. Out of all the American internet users, 35% of them use Instagram. Instagram climbed the popularity ladder very steadily and once past Twitter and Snapchat, it has everything going for it. Also, Facebook’s acquisition gives it the resources it needs to increase its base.

34. Of all the active Instagram users, 95% also use YouTube. After YouTube comes Facebook with 91%. This shows that the users really value video content. Although pictures are also big on the platform, videos are very popular.

This statistic gives insight to marketers who may wonder how they can go about marketing in more than one platform. Video content on these three platforms will go a long way.

35. At least 25% of smartphone users are on Instagram. That reflects a big number considering that most people use their phones for social media.


36. Instagram started with a seed capital of $500,000 while under the name Burbn. In February 2011, it got another funding of $7,000,000. In April 2012, it raised another $50 million and it’s value became $500 million. That same month, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion.

37. Instagram ads are estimated to generate between $8 billion and $9 billion in 2019.

38. It is said that the platform is the happiest place on the internet. This is because of the love people spread with more positive feedback (Likes) than negative ones. Generally speaking though, great content is what usually receives lots of “Likes.”

39. Users of the Android version spend 53 minutes on Instagram daily. Could it be that the Android guys have a better Instagram experience than the iOS fans? Preferences aside, the numbers say it all. This means that Android users are most likely to see relevant ads and buy.

40. The most liked photo as at January 2019 was that of an egg. Although it sounds weird, there was a clear motive behind the drive. The intention was to dethrone the then most popular photo—that of Kylie Jenner.


41. Mercedex-Benz Cars UK worked with Facebook Creative Shop and created a campaign for Stories. It reached 2.6 million users.

42. By using video ads in Stories, Enel energy supplier developed enough brand awareness to reduce their cost per click by 56%.

43. Airpay used Stories to drive app installs among millennials leading to a 17% increase in installs. They also experienced a 52% decrease on CPR (Cost Per Referral) and 35% decrease in CPM (Cost Per Mille).

44. Posts with geotagging enjoy 79% more engagement. Geotagging a post makes it appealing to the people in the locations tagged. This drives interactions, especially if the post is attractive to the people it is reaching out to.


With these behind-the-scenes statistics, you can decide whether Instagram is a place you should be in or not.

By and large, the platform is busy with connections and interactions which you can benefit from in various ways. For example, you could earn good money on Instagram.

44 Stats and Facts About Instagram

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