The 27 Definitive Instagram Statistics for 2021 You Should Know - and Why

The 31 Definitive Instagram Statistics for 2023 You Should Know – and Why

There are tons of blog posts out there about Instagram statistics for 2023. I don’t intend to add to the noise, but I think that there is some data that is important for every marketer to understand so that they maximize their marketing. These are the statistics that I bring up in my speeches and classes, so I thought it worthy to create a blog post on the subject.

Instagram continues to boom among consumers and businesses alike right now. There’s no denying that this global platform allows companies and brands to collaborate with top Instagram influencers, humanize their content and showcase their products and services in a unique and relatable way. Let me break down some important statistics for 2023 that every marketer needs to understand today and help you turn them into your advantage.

These statistics are conveniently divided into what I see are the 8 most important categories:

  • It’s popularity
  • Business-specific stats
  • Advertising
  • Influencer marketing
  • How frequently are users publishing
  • How customers use the visual platform for product insight
  • User purchasing trends
  • Demographics

I also take a look at the end as to how Instagram statistics compare with those of its closest competitor and parent company, Facebook.

How Big is Instagram? Instagram Statistics Don’t Lie!

1. Instagram Has Been Downloaded 3.8 Billion Times

The number 3.8 billion can be hard to truly comprehend, but it indicates that Instagram is a truly massive social media platform with an enormous reach. To put that into perspective, let’s take a quick look at other download numbers. TikTok has been downloaded 2.6 billion times, while Facebook has been downloaded over 5 billion times. 

The number of downloads is significant, because it provides a window into the popularity and engagement found on a particular platform. Twitter, for instance, is enjoying a downward trend in success, which can be reflected in its download numbers. Facebook continues to grow, which is also reflected in its download numbers. While downloads do not guarantee active users, a large number of downloads will more likely support effective marketing strategies. 

Takeaway: The sheer volume of Instagram downloaders means that users will, by default, have more access to their target audience and have a more substantial base from which to operate.

2. Instagram has an Audience of More Than 1 Billion Users

Instagram has an Audience of More Than 1 Billion Users

Instagram sometime ago announced that their active monthly user base had surpassed 1 billion. This places them well ahead of LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat. In fact if you add up the active monthly users for each of these four networks it might not equal 1 billion!

Let’s look at this in the context of the world’s population. Given that there are a little less than 8 Billion people worldwide, this is a very large segment of the planet who can be reached with Instagram marketing.

The below image, courtesy of Statista, shows how dramatic this growth has been. Note that while the image says 2018, that is because there have been no updated Instagram statistics released from them since then.

instagram statistics 1 billion users

Takeaway: If we take out YouTube, mobile messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat and Chinese social media, Instagram is the second most popular – and active – social media site in the world.

3. 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram every DAY.

95 million photos and videos being shared every single day means a few things: 

1. Your competition is fierce. With that many new uploads occurring each and every day, being active on Instagram is not enough to get your brand, product, or account out there. Instead, you must learn how to use the platform effectively. 

2. You must learn how to stand out. Over time, users and profiles can begin to blur together and everyone and everything can begin to look the same. Rather than adhering to trends and following along with what all of your competitors are doing, you must learn how to make your 1 post stand out among the 95 million photos and videos being shared. 

3. The platform is not going anywhere anytime soon. Instagram continues to grow and expand, both in terms of its actual use and in terms of what the platform offers.  

Takeaway: Instagram is a widely-used platform that sees a huge influx of posts each day. Learning how to navigate it effectively is vital. 

4.Instagram Users Spend an Average of 30 Minutes Per Day inside the Social Network

Instagram users do not usually hop onto their phones, check a single post or account (or post their own), and hop off. Instead, they tend to linger. Whether they linger over new Instagram stories, or happily browse through shopping posts or fashion brands, Instagram users are known to take their time on the app. 

Knowing user statistics like how long your audience typically spends on the app on which you are focusing is valuable, because it can help you determine how you develop your marketing strategies. A longer engagement period might prompt you to create image posts, videos, lives, and more, while shorter periods might encourage your marketing team to focus on smaller snippets of news and information. 

Takeaway: Instagram users tend to stick around for a while as they browse, so taking advantage of the many posting options Instagram has to offer, such as carousel posts and reels, is a wise marketing move.

5. Stories are HUGE: 500 Million Active Users Daily

Instagram Stories Has 500 Million Daily Users

If you thought Instagram was just about posting to your photo feed, think again. They have announced that about half of their active users are checking out Stories on a daily basis.

I like to think of Instagram as being two social networks in one: Static images and videos and Stories. You really can’t maximize your presence on the platform unless you are utilizing both platforms.

Check out the impressive growth of Stories users with this graph courtesy of Buffer.

Instagram Stories Growth

Takeaway: Consider Instagram Stories to be a separate social network and make sure you place equal importance on publishing content there.

How Businesses are Using Instagram Statistics

6. 7 out of 10 US Companies – if Not More – are Already Using Instagram

7 out of 10 US Companies Are Already Using Instagram

An eMarketer study found that 71% of all companies in the United States are already using Instagram, surpassing Twitter at 67%. That number was only at 32.3% in 2015. The platform continues to expand its marketing options, which now include the Carousel ad platform, the native ad program and sponsored influencer collaborations.

Takeaway: Will your company be in the majority or minority? If you’re still trying to determine what to post on Instagram, you’re losing out on the potential.

7. 80% of Instagrammers are Engaging with Businesses

Users are following their favorite brands, with 80 percent of users following at least one business account. According to the latest data, there are 200 million users who will visit a business profile on a daily basis. It’s no wonder that 25 million businesses are already present and 2 million advertisers are using ads, including Stories ads, to promote their products and services. Below is a great snapshot of these stats and more from Instagram:

instagram statistics for businesses

Takeaway: Instagram is a very different social network which requires you to create a new type of visual content, but more and more businesses are finding a way to do so, and, more importantly, Instagram users WILL follow and engage with content from businesses, whether that comes from direct business contact or micro – influencers who then lead users to a business.

8. 70% of the most used Instagram hashtags are branded.

Hashtags are used by every kind of user, from the brands themselves to teenagers bragging about how much fun they had playing their favorite video game or creating the latest makeup look. Even older people can add branded hashtags to their posts and help create buzz for the latest thing. Although the hashtag may have begun on Twitter, the way Instagram users use them brings them to a new level of popularity and dramatically expands their audience size.

beach footprint hashtag

Takeaway: While hashtags can help your brand be found, don’t be afraid to use branded hashtags as a normal part of your Instagram marketing. Users on other platforms might not use them, but Instagram users will.

9. 180 million users in India utilize Instagram, while 170 million users in the United States employ the app. 

According to Statista, Instagram’s audience is massive in both India and the United States, with 180 million and 170 million users, respectively. The populations of each of these places are substantial, and knowing your audience is an important part of crafting effective and compelling social media marketing campaigns. Understanding the top countries that utilize Instagram is valuable, because it can help drive decisions made during marketing campaign development. 

Takeaway: Instagram’s audience is particularly concentrated in India and the United States, which can inform social media marketing practices and indicate the best areas on which to focus. 

Instagram Advertising Statistics

Since Instagram users make up such a large percentage of the US market, it is no surprise that Instagram is a useful marketing tool. One of the great things about a creative platform is that it allows users to see the possibilities. Even in the early days, with the vacation photographs everywhere, seeing a magical beach could make another user want to go there, as well. It’s the same thing with products and services. Visualizing possibilities sells.

Maybe that’s why…:

10. Instagram’s Annual Advertising Revenue is $9.45 Billion

That’s a lot of money, though it’s still a drop in the bucket when compared to total marketing budgets. If businesses couldn’t make this method of marketing pay, then they wouldn’t use it. With the advent of Instagram’s shopping feature, advertising has a more direct line to consumers, making it a lucrative platform to utilize.

After all…:

11. Instagram has an estimated advertising reach of 928 million.

Instagram Has An Estimated Advertising Reach of 928 Million

In short, Instagram is a great place to find customers that are likely to spend money. And, unlike TV or radio advertisements, Instagram ads are cheap with a larger reach, from grandparents sharing photos of their grandchildren, to ecstatic Kylie Jenner fans. These ads can be viewed at any time of the day or night, and from anywhere in the world-not just during the program in locations served by the station. This alone makes Instagram an essential social media marketing platform.

Instagram is a great place for influencer marketing

Since Instagram is so popular for consumers hoping to make a buying decision, it is worth talking about the third parties who try to assist in getting the content out there: influencers. In short, Instagram is one of the top destinations for influencers hoping to cash in on the latest marketing trend. Because there is so much potential in this method of marketing, let’s take a look at why…:

12. 67% of marketers use Instagram for influencer marketing

67% of Marketers Use Instagram for Influencer Marketing

Instagram remains the king of influencer marketing. While other social media platforms might utilize some derivative of influencer marketing, Instagram continues to trump all others with regard to this particular type of marketing. With hundreds of millions of daily users and virtually limitless reach, marketers heavily value the reach of Instagram and the influencing power given to influencers by their audiences. While the photo-sharing app may have started as a way to share with people you know, influencers are a truly massive arm of social media marketing, and Instagram is the platform of choice for them. 

Takeaway: Influencer marketing is an ideal marketing tool if you want to focus your marketing strategy on the Instagram platform. 

13. Researchers estimate that in 2020 marketers spent $8 Billion on Instagram influencers alone.

That’s a huge segment of the influencer market! And perhaps it’s no wonder that both customers and advertisers like the platform so much. Instagram dishes up content in small, bite-sized pieces that consumers can enjoy in just a minute or two. It doesn’t have to be flashy, just something worth looking at.

We also know that:

14. Over 55% of influencers prefer to use Instagram for their campaigns.

One reason that influencers probably like Instagram is its ease of use. Just take a few great pictures, add some filters and tags, and you have a great little campaign. Or, they can shoot simple videos, no editing required, and post them. Other platforms, like YouTube, often require more effort. Another advantage, of course, is that the stories aren’t “out there” forever. You can say what you want to say, and it’ll disappear. Use YouTube, however, and you have a long-term archive of everything you’ve done and not deleted.

instagram influencer

15. 37% of Instagram Users Interact with Influencers

Interaction is important to make sure that your posts are being seen and distributed. Because a significant portion of Instagram users interact with influencers, you can bet that your post is more likely to be seen if influencers are being utilized. Business account posts can be dry and overtly pitch services or goods, while influencers can make advertisements seem more organic and down-to-earth. 

Takeaway: Because many Instagram users actively engage with influencers, businesses and brands would be wise to utilize influencers in their ongoing marketing campaigns.

Instagram is Still a Highly Engaging Platform

Instagram is a preferred destination for influencers, businesses and social media users because of its high engagement rate.

16. It has the best interaction rates among platforms.

In particular, Instagram profiles have engagement rates between 2% and 7%, depending on the size of its following. Smaller profiles have a higher engagement rate, while larger ones suffer. There are likely several reasons for this discrepancy. For one thing, small influencer profiles haven’t gotten rich yet, and so they have a more authentic flavor. Large brands, and popular influencers, have a lower engagement rate because there are more people following them who are just interested in seeing what they’re up to. In other words, they aren’t necessarily going to act on the recommendations, they just want to know what those recommendations are.

social media engagement

For that reason, if you are looking to drive immediate sales, using a series of smaller Instagram influencers might work well. Conversely, campaigns aimed mainly at increasing brand awareness can absorb that lower engagement rate, and using influencers with a larger following might be a better idea. Combined campaigns can obviously benefit from multiple types of influencers.

Further Reading: When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram for the Maximum Engagement?

17. Only 5% of Accounts Post Once per Day or More

Only 5% of Instagram Accounts Post Daily

You would think that you would see more people posting frequently because of how attractive the platform is. The data shows that it is quite the contrary.

Tailwind compiled their own data and found that only 5% of accounts post once per day per more. Clearly, companies are having a hard time finding their visual voice and posting regularly as they would do on other platforms.

Only 5% of Instagram Accounts Post Once per Day or More

Takeaway: With so few people posting, supply and demand in the newsfeed is more favorable to your posting on Instagram than on any other social network at the moment. If you’re still trying to figure out how to promote your Instagram presence, the answer might simply be to publish more frequently there.

18. Accounts That Posted 7+ Posts per Week Showed the Highest Follower Growth Rate

I hinted above about the concept of supply and demand in the newsfeed. When fewer people post, those that know how to post on Instagram everyday appear more often in the newsfeed and thus reap the benefits of getting more mindshare. Case in point: The same Tailwind study mentioned above also showed that the more frequently you posted, the faster you get more followers on Instagram. This hints that the Instagram algorithm might benefit those who publish more frequently.

the more you post to instagram the faster your followers grow instagram statistics for 2019

Takeaway: What are you waiting for? Create a solid Instagram marketing strategy, build up some content, and start posting more often!

19. Multi-Photo Posts Boast the Highest Engagement Rates on the App

Instagram’s “carousel” feature allows users to post multiple photos at a single point in time. These posts are more likely to boast high engagement rates, while single-photo posts do not fare as well, and even video posts do not drive as much engagement from a profile’s audience. While the engagement rate for a single-photo post sits at around 0.88% and video posts hover around 0.55%, carousel posts boast a 1.05% engagement rate. 

Takeaway: Consider the types of posts you utilize in your marketing campaigns, as different posts have different engagement rates, and carousel posts consistently score higher. 

How Customers use Instagram for Product Insight

Yes, you heard it right. Instagram is one of the places where customers go when they’re trying to decide what to purchase. In fact…

20. 70% of users were looking up brands on Instagram, way back in 2015.

I didn’t see a more recent figure, but it is safe to assume that amount is even higher in 2021. Remember what I said earlier: people like to visualize products and how they work before buying them. It’s kind of like those virtual try-on tools that many e-commerce sites in the beauty and fashion industries use , but with people Instagram users can speak to and interact with directly.

70% of users were looking up brands on Instagram

On a related note…:

21. 90% of users follow one or more businesses.

90% of Instagrammers Are Engaging With Businesses

This could be any type of business, from gaming companies or clothing retailers, all the way to housing developers and major artists. In short, your Instagram profile has the potential to be a major bragging board, and one that people want to see. Artist? You have an awesome place to put a portfolio. Landscaping firm? Get permission from homeowners to put their yard up on your page.

Also, consider that:

22. 80% use Instagram to help decide if they’re going to buy something.

Back to the whole visual thing. It’s easier to decide if a product is the right one to buy if you can see how it is used. Otherwise, you just have an item in a package. Pictures and reviews sell. So do Instagram videos.

80% use Instagram to help decide if they’re going to buy something

23. 83% of Users Discover New Products on Instagram

83% of Users Discover New Products on Instagram

Users not only follow friends and brands but they are also potentially introduced to new brands and products through following hashtags, discovering them through search, or seeing their Instagram ads. This stat hints at the potential to find new customers and generate brand awareness from a demographic that might not be exposed to your brand through other means.

Related stats published by Facebook indicate the following purchasing trends:

83% of Users Discover New Products on Instagram statistics

24. 54% of Millennials Bought Products after Seeing Them on Instagram

A study found that Millennials were the most responsive generation to posts, with a whopping 68% of 18-24 year-olds saying they were more likely to purchase an item if someone they followed shared it. 54% of respondents said they bought products after spotting them in their feed.

An interesting side note is that the same study found that Instagram had the most influence on consumer behavior than any other as follows when participants were asked who influenced them the most:

  1. Friends
  2. Family
  3. Partner
  4. Customer Reviews
  5. Television
  6. Instagram

Facebook came it at number 7 while YouTube was 11th, Twitter was 12th, and Blogs were 15th.

Takeaway: Millennials aren’t just active on Instagram; a majority of them are being influenced to purchase from the images they see there. Of all of these statistics, this one should provide you ammunition to accelerate your marketing efforts.

Instagram User Demographics Statistics

25. Nearly 70% of Instagram Users are Under 35 Years Old

Nearly 70% of Instagram Users Are Under 35 Years Old

This stat from Statista clearly shows that while Instagram is not limited to a younger demographic, it is definitely a young person’s social network. That being said, 16% of users being between 35 and 44 year olds being users also hints that older generations are using this social network more frequently than before. This is a natural progression: Just as Facebook began as a college student social network and has now evolved into an older persons’ one, Instagram is also moving from a millennial-only social network to one that is growing beyond its original demographic.

71% of Instagram Users are Under 35 Years Old

Takeaway: For many brands, Instagram is their chosen social network to reach out to millennials. However, as user demographics continue to expand to older generations, don’t limit your marketing efforts to a single generation.

26. 75% of US adults ages 18-24 use Instagram, and only 57% of the 25-29 age group.

Not only do under 35-year olds dominate the platform, but those that are aged 18 to 24 clearly use Instagram the same way that most other demographics use Facebook. In fact, the 75% of users aged 18 to 24 is even higher than the highest demographic using Facebook, which is 68% of those ages 50 to 64.

75% of US adults ages 18-24 use Instagram, and only 57% of the 25-29 age group.

Takeaway: If you want to reach 18 to 24 year olds, there is no better social network to do so than Instagram. While you might be able to reach other demographics, you will clearly be able to easily reach this young demographic.

27. 47% of Millennials Use Instagram as a Messaging App

47% of Millennials Use Instagram as a Messaging App

I predicted back in the day that a movement by social media users to retake the “personal” from social media and move to social networks that are more communication-centric, as opposed to information-centric. The rise of mobile messaging apps in the likes of Facebook Messenger, What’s App, and WeChat are an example of how this prediction came true. But don’t stop there: This study indicated that Millennials actually use Instagram as a mobile messaging app 47% of the time, just behind the top Facebook Messenger at 50% and tied with Snapchat.

How do Instagram statistics compare to Facebook?

As we mentioned above, Instagram users tend towards the younger end of the population. However, within those age groups, the platform is very popular. Some other social networks, like Facebook, have a broader appeal for older adults. What is interesting is how different users are using these two different platforms differently.

28. Facebook has 2.85 billion active users, while Instagram has 1 billion. 

The numbers are clear: Facebook is the larger of the two entities, with more users and greater reach. Facebook has a larger age range, as well, which makes it more useful as a catch-all location for marketing efforts. Still, Instagram’s smaller audience does not necessarily render it unusable or ill-advised. Facebook users and Instagram users differ substantially, and Instagram may be better trusted among younger demographics than Facebook. 

Takeaway: Facebook remains the larger and further-reaching of the two social platforms, but Instagram has its own unique benefits and audiences that brands and companies can cater to and develop content for. 

29. Facebook users spend 38 minutes on the site or app on average, compared to Instagram’s 30 minutes. 

A difference of 8 minutes may not seem like much, but it can change the way you go about structuring your ad campaigns and marketing efforts. That eight minutes can offer plenty of time to view a dozen or more ads. In both cases, however, the message is clear: people log onto both sites to spend time, rather than just checking a single thing and hopping off. Whether you are using Facebook or Instagram as your primary social media marketing campaigns, take advantage of the time being spent on the apps by your audience. 

Takeaway: Like Instagram, Facebook users are known for settling in and taking a look around. Leverage that time to your advantage as you create your social media campaigns. 

Another difference between Facebook and Instagram is the conversion rate.

30. Instagram ads have a lower conversion rate than Facebook ads: 3.1% instead of 4.7%.

One kind of wonders why this might be, but let me make a suggestion: since Instagram has a younger user base, it also has a user base with less money. That is, within any given geographic location the younger adults tend to have a smaller amount of income that they can spend on products and services, than their older (but still working) counterparts. Even in professional circles, the younger managers usually make less than the ones who have had a number of raises over the years. In turn, they might be inclined to buy something, but not be able to afford it. Depending on the nature of what you’re selling, or the price point within a category, the income factor can have a varying degree of influence.

A few more closing thoughts:

31. Facebook ads have a higher click through rate of 3.05%, vs. a 0.67% rate on Instagram.

Maybe people don’t click through in situations where they can’t afford to buy? It would be an interesting study to find out. Then again, with Instagram less “friend” based, there may be less of a peer pressure factor as well.

Which of the above statistics did you find especially compelling? Any other takeaways to add? Fire away!

Hero photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Instagram Statistics FAQs

How do I check my stats on Instagram?

Here are the steps on how to check stats on Instagram:

1. Launch the Instagram app and log into your account.
2. Then, tap on the icon in the bottom right-hand corner that looks like a bar chart.
3. Tap on the “View Insights” link at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a page with more comprehensive data, including insights into your most popular posts and the times of day when you get the most engagement.

What age uses Instagram the most?

According to recent statistics, Instagram is most popular among users between the ages of 18 and 29. This age group makes up 37% of all Instagram users. Interestingly, usage rates for this age group have remained relatively stable over the past few years while other age groups have increased significantly. For example, the number of 30-49 year olds using Instagram has nearly doubled since 2016. At the same time, 50-64 year-old Instagram users has increased by 50%. These numbers suggest that Instagram is becoming popular with older age groups.

Is it too late to grow on Instagram?

It is never too late to start growing on Instagram. With over one billion monthly active users, Instagram provides an expansive and engaged audience for farmers and gardeners alike. In addition, the platform offers a unique opportunity to connect with potential customers and build a rapport with the local community. While it may take some time to get started, there is no doubt that growing on Instagram can be a highly rewarding experience. So, whether you are just starting out or you have been gardening for years, don’t hesitate to give it a try.

Is Instagram becoming less popular?

With over 800 million active users, it is clear that Instagram is here to stay. However, there are signs that Instagram may be losing some of its appeal. For example, the amount of time users spend on the app has been declining since early 2018. In addition, the number of posts being made by users is also on the decline. However, it is worth noting that the platform still has a large and active user base. So while Instagram may be facing some challenges, it is still one of the most popular social media platforms.

Actionable advice for your digital / content / influencer / social media marketing.

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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  1. Thank you for providing this information. It’s like gold for me right now. when you say: “180 million users in India utilize Instagram, while 170 million users in the United States employ the app.” Are you referring to any specific difference between the way users in those countries interact with the app? Or just highlighting the differences? Thanks!

    • Hey Caleb, those are just sheer numbers of users. However, since TikTok is banned in India, you can only imagine how Instagram might be more relatively popular in India than in the United States. Hope the background info helps!

  2. Hi,

    You have the Instagram ad conversion rate as 3.1%. Many other resources say 1.08%. What was your source? I am trying to learn the latest conversion rate of IG ads. Your article was very helpful!

    • The source is linked to the “lower conversion rate” text right before it. But please note that there are always multiple data points and stats are being updated continuously, so please only use these stats as guidelines!

  3. Thank you for this insight on Instagram! Some other articles that I have read have said that although Instagram is popular, less people have been actively using it than a year ago. Do you think that the loss of engagement from its users is due to changing to the algorithm method?

    • I think it’s a case of having a lot more supply of images with demand not growing as fast, meaning, on average, less engagement for all. I don’t think that the algorithm has changed things much as I saw the less engagement before the announcement.

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