Instagram Growth And Engagement: 2015 Year In Review

Marko Saric posted on 15 January 2016

Happy new 2016!

This post is one last look at the Instagram growth and engagement trends from the year 2015. We’re also releasing the data from December.

We’ve been doing Instagram studies since April 2015. There have been some interesting trends in this period.

Let’s take a look.

Do you want to see the year in review for Facebook? Take a look here.

Instagram Growth And Engagement: 2015 Year In Review

Instagram growth 88.21% down, engagement 61.43% down in 2015
April May June July August September October November December
Growth 1.95% 1.48% 0.49% 0.34% 0.56% 0.25% 0.26% 0.28% 0.23%
ER 2.8% 2.61% 2.14% 2.12% 2.25% 1.76% 1.36% 1.12% 1.08%

As seen from our data there is only one trend on Instagram and it is downward. In the nine months of studies the follower growth on Instagram has declined 88.21%. From the high of 1.95% in April to the low of 0.23% in December.

Engagement rate has decreased as well. From the 2.8% engagement high in April to the 1.08% engagement low in December. This is a 61.43% decrease.

Instagram has gone from one of the most “viral” social networks to a pay-to-play platform during the year. If you want to achieve a great growth on Instagram you do need to consider alternative tactics. Organic growth will not get you far.

Advertising is now open to all. Influencer outreach (just like on Twitter) is another powerful tactic worth considering. Learn also how Skrillex, Diplo and other superstar DJ’s drive Instagram engagement.

You will need to work harder to achieve great numbers in the year 2016.

Instagram is still ahead of Facebook and Twitter

Instagram had a 0.23% follower growth in December. This makes it a stronger platform than Facebook and Twitter. Twitter follower growth in December was at 0.09%. Facebook page likes growth was 0.14%.

Instagram also leads in engagement rate of the total audience. In December an average post engaged 1.08% of the total followers. On Twitter this number was 0.1% of all followers. On Facebook you could expect 0.37% of your page likes to engage with a post.

Your brand is not on Instagram yet? Take a look at our beginner’s guide.

Instagram is dominated by images and likes

2,500 profiles we looked at posted 2.74 times per day on average in December. Images continue being the dominant post format. In December 91.87% of all the posts were images.

Images do get higher engagement on the platform. Image posts engaged 1.1% of all the followers, while videos engaged 0.83%.

Instagram does want its users to watch and engage with more video. They are currently expanding “Spotlight Compilations”. The hope is to get more people introduced to interesting videos.

Instagram users continue being untalkative. 97.4% of all the engagements in December were likes.

Do you want inspiration for content to post on Instagram? See what these five great brands do differently to achieve better results.

5 action points for a better start in the year 2016

Review the timeless principles of good social media marketing. Do you ignore any of these in your work?

Go through the list of New Year’s Resolutions for social media marketers. How can you implement these into your plans?

Compare your own Instagram profile to 2,500 profiles we looked at in our studies. How’s your current performance?

Get into the habit of asking yourself these eight questions before publishing a new post on Instagram.

Consider how your brand can get onto these ten key social media trends in 2016.

Locowise goes beyond pretty charts. We crunch the data for you. We draw insights from the noise. And we produce business value immediately - answering specific questions with high-action intelligence.

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