In just four years, Instagram has exploded to over 200 million monthly active users (MAUs), making it the fastest growing social network on the planet. While the number of MAUs falls well short of other social networks, Instagram has the most engaged users.
A study was done using the rock band Paramore’s social media accounts. The same image was posted to their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts simultaneously, with these results:
- Facebook Fan Page (3,200,000 fans) – 9,405 likes
- Twitter (3,350,000 followers) – 433 retweets and 289 favorites
- Instagram (360,000 followers) – 52,237 likes and 315 comments
With only one-tenth the following of their Facebook fan page, their Instagram account generated 5 times more activity.
Forrester Research also conducted a study yielding similar results. They found that Instagram had a fan engagement rate 58 times higher than Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter.
These numbers are truly astounding. What is the reason for the massive jump in engagement on Instagram? One explanation has to do with how networks are structured. Let’s take a look at three of the major ones: