It was reported on Marketing Week earlier this week that the Facebook-owned app Instagram has reached a total of 300 million users – around 100 million extra users in just nine months. With this record user base, Instagram has surpassed that of Twitter and Tumblr, which have 284 million and 230 million respectively. Facebook still leads the charge in terms of active users, with a staggering total of 1.35 billion users.
This record boost to user numbers comes in the same year that Instagram announced it would be introducing ads onto the app, first trialling the offering in the US. In September of this year, a number of UK brands (including Channel 4, Rimmel and Waitrose) began advertising on the app, whilst US brands like Michael Kors, Burberry and Taco Bell began in November last year. With the extra users and new advertising offerings, Instagram could affect Twitter’s performance as the social media site also looks to gain revenue from advertising strategies.
However, despite the impressive user base, some professionals in the advertising industry remain unconvinced of the service it will offer to businesses. Chris Buckley, chief digital office at TMW Unlimited, noted that: “Size doesn’t itself equate to popularity and won’t make more advertisers turn to Instagram.”
Despite the above comment, he also conceded that a large user base does offer more choice and a broader range of interests and hobbies for advertisers to draw on. One other issue with such a large user base is the problem with spam accounts. Instagram announced that it would begin tackling and deleting spam accounts; this is expected to “ensure the validity of the product and reassure potential advertisers that their investment is in safe hands”, Ed Kitchingman – research director for We Are Social – concluded.