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48 Instagram Stats That’ll Help You Improve Your Posting Strategy

By June 9, 2016 No Comments

With over 400 million active users, brands are quickly recognizing the need to have a presence on Instagram.

But, as with any social network, the brands that are getting the most out of Instagram are the ones who are smart about what they post, when they post, how often they post, and whom they’re targeting.

But how do they know what’s “smart”?

That’s where the data comes in. There’s a whole lot of research out there about Instagram — everything from the demographics of its users and how often brands are posting, to how caption length affects engagement and what the most popular emoji is on Instagram. (See #32.) Download our free introductory guide to A/B testing here. 

For example, did you know that a brand would need about 2,325 Instagram followers to get 100 Likes & comments on a post? Or that brands posted an average of 4.9 times per week on Instagram in 2015? Read on to uncover more Instagram stats that’ll help you get ideas and improve your own Instagram posting strategy.

48 Instagram Stats

Click on a category below to jump to the stats for that category:

  1. Instagram’s Growth
  2. Audience & Demographics
  3. Brand Adoption
  4. Instagram Post Content
  5. Instagram Posting Strategy


Instagram’s Growth

1) The Instagram community has grown from 90 million active users in January 2013 to more than 400 million active users in September 2015. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Statista

2) Instagram’s more than 400 million active users place it well ahead of Twitter (310 million active users) Snapchat (200 million active users), and Pinterest (100 million active users). Tweet this stat! (Source)

3) The proportion of online adults who use Instagram and Pinterest has doubled since Pew Research Center first started tracking social media platform adoption in 2012. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Pew Research Center

4) Instagram’s user base is growing far faster than social network usage in general in the U.S. Instagram will grow 15.1% this year, compared to just 3.1% growth for the social network sector as a whole. Tweet this stat! (Source)

5) Between 2016 and 2020, eMarketer predicts Instagram will add 26.9 million users — almost double the incremental users expected for Twitter, and far more than any other social platform tracked. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: eMarketer

6) In 2016, 9.5% of Facebook’s global mobile ad revenues (20.1% in the U.S.) will come from Instagram. By 2017, Instagram’s share will grow to 14.0% globally (28.0% in the U.S.). Tweet this stat! (Source)

7) Instagram and Snapchat are tied for the second-highest used messaging app (behind Facebook Messenger) for millennials at 47%. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Refuel Agency

8) Other than Instagram’s own account, the most-followed Instagram account as of March 2016 is run by American singer Selena Gomez, followed by celebrities Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, and Ariana Grande. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Statista


Audience & Demographics

9) 52% of teens use Instagram, and nearly as many (41%) use Snapchat. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Pew Research Center

10) 28% of adult internet users used Instagram in 2015, up from 26% in September 2014. Tweet this stat! (Source)

11) 55% of young adults (ages 18–29) used Instagram in 2015, compared with 37% who did so in 2013. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Pew Research Center

12) In 2015, 59% of Instagram users used the platform daily, including 35% who visited several times a day. This 59% figure reflects a 10-point increase from September 2014, when 49% of Instagram users reported visiting the site on a daily basis. Tweet this stat! (Source)

13) It was predicted that more than one-third of mobile phone users (roughly 89.4 million Americans) will be on Instagram at least once a month in 2016. By 2017, an estimated 51.8% of social network users will use Instagram. Tweet this stat! (Source)

14) More than 75% of Instagram’s user base consists of people living outside of the U.S. Tweet this stat! (Source)

15) In September 2015, the greatest share of traffic to Instagram (23.94%) was from the U.S. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Statista


Brand Adoption

16) In one social media study, of five industries analyzed (beauty, apparel, big box, electronics, and home goods), only 43% engaged with their consumers via Instagram, despite Instagram’s 237% average follower growth rate. Tweet this stat! (Source)

17) Despite the rise of Instagram adoption among young adults, it was the least adopted social channel in most retail categories, with adoption rates ranging from 26% to 32%. Tweet this stat! (Source)

18) The apparel industry’s Instagram adoption rate (84%) was double or triple that of other industries. Tweet this stat! (Source)

19) In one 2015 study, 31% of B2C marketers said Instagram was a “very important” social channel and 27% said it was “not important,” while only 8% of B2B marketers said Instagram was a “very important” channel and 58% said it was “not important.” Tweet this stat! (Source)



Image Credit: RivalHQ


Instagram Post Content

20) More than 80 million photos were shared on Instagram each day in September 2015. Tweet this stat! (Source)

21) On Instagram, photos showing faces get 38% more Likes than photos not showing faces. Tweet this stat! (Source)

22) In a study of 8 million Instagram images, images with a single dominant color generate 17% more Likes than images with multiple dominant colors. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Curalate

23) On Instagram, images with a high amount of negative space generate 29% more Likes than those with minimal negative space. Tweet this stat! (Source)

24) On Instagram, images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more Likes than images that are predominantly red. Tweet this stat! (Source)

25) There’s little correlation between caption text length and engagement rate on Instagram. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Simply Measured

26) When Instagram first introduced video in June 2013, more than 5 million were shared in the first 24 hours. Tweet this stat! (Source)

27) Despite more brands posting videos than ever before (13.2% of all posts), photos still see higher average engagement. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Simply Measured

28) In a study of 100 top brands, the brands’ Instagram captions averaged 2.5 hashtags per post. Tweet this stat! (Source)

29) In one study, posts with 11 or more hashtags received nearly 80% interaction, compared to just 22% when using ten and 41% when using two. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: QuickSprout

30) Instagram posts that include both a hashtag and a location tag see higher engagement. Posts with multiple hashtags also perform better than average. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Simply Measured

31) Posts tagged with a location see 79% higher engagement than posts not tagged with a location. Tweet this stat! (Source)

32) The red heart is the most frequently shared emoji on Instagram, which is shared 79% more than the next most popular symbol, a smiling face with heart eyes. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Curalate

33) Four of the top five most popular emojis are positive smiley faces (including the laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying icon). If you look at the top 20 emojis, smileys comprise half. Tweet this stat! (Source)

34) The American flag is the only flag emoji to break the top 100, ranking #59. The next most popular flag comes from Italy, ranked #125, followed by the French flag at #160 and the Japanese flag at #166. Tweet this stat! (Source)

35) Pizza is the most popular Instagrammed food, behind sushi and steak. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Instagram Posting Strategy

36) In a study of 55 brands, the brands posted an average of 1.5 times per day. Tweet this stat! (Source)

37) By late 2014, 73% of brands were posting at least one photo or video per week, a 35% increase from 2012. Tweet this stat! (Source)

38) The best times to post on Instagram are Mondays and Thursdays at any time except between 3:00–4:00 p.m. in your target audience’s time zone. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Elle & Co.

39) The most common posting frequency for brands on Instagram is 11–20 times per month, with almost one-third of companies measured falling into that bucket. Tweet this stat! (Source)

40) 90% of the Interbrand 100 companies now have Instagram accounts. Of all 100 companies, 80% post at least one Instagram photo or video per week. Tweet this stat! (Source)

41) Of the Interbrand 100 companies, the number of brands that post on Instagram more than 50 times per month has doubled from 7 in 2014 to 14 in 2015. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Simply Measured

42) Many posts by top brands take more than 19 hours to hit 50% of their total comments, and another 10% of comments coming after 19 days. Tweet this stat! (Source)

43) Many posts continue to receive low-level engagement for days and weeks after posting. Most brand posts continue to receive Likes and comments 18–24 hours after posting, just at a slower clip than the initial fast pace. Tweet this stat! (Source)

44) People miss, on average, 70% of their Instagram feeds. Tweet this stat! (Source)

45) While Instagram is still by far the best social network for organic engagement, its per-follower interaction rate of 2.3% is barely half what it was in 2014. Tweet this stat! (Source)


Image Credit: Forrester Research

46) In a study of 100 top brands, engagement per post has grown at a rate of 53% year-over-year. Tweet this stat! (Source) 

47) In a study of several thousand brand posts, the average engagement rate is 4.3% and the median is 3.5%. That means that the average post in this sample saw 4.3 activities (a Like or a comment) per 100 followers. Phrased another way, to get 100 Likes and comments on a post, a brand would need approximately 2,325 followers. Tweet this stat! (Source)

48) One brand added 36X its typical number of new followers each day during the 4 days it ran a set of sponsored posts on Instagram, increasing its follower count by 18.15%. Tweet this stat! (Source) 

What other Instagram statistics can you add to the list? Share them with us in the comments. 

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