More Instagram Advertising Means Less Organic Engagement (Report)

Has more advertising on Instagram led to poorer engagement for brands on the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network?

Has more advertising on Instagram led to poorer engagement for brands on the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network?

Social analytics and reporting company Locowise released its January Instagram data, and its findings included:

  • Follower growth remained strong. The January figure of 0.37 percent was up 60.87 percent from December and marked the highest growth since last August. Facebook only saw page like growth of 0.16 percent in January, while Twitter’s follower growth for the month was just 0.11 percent.
  • However, Instagram’s post engagement rate of 0.95 percent of total audience marked the lowest since Locowise began studying the network 10 months ago, and it was down 12.04 percent from December. Locowise said Instagram post engagement rate has fallen 66.07 percent over the past 10 months.
  • Despite the slump, the post engagement rate for Instagram in January was still higher than those for Facebook (0.46 percent) and Twitter (0.09 percent).
  • 91.83 percent of posts on the brand accounts studied by Locowise in January were images, and image posts engaged 0.97 percent of their total audiences, while that figure slipped to 0.68 percent for video posts.

LocowiseInstagramFollowersJanuary2016 LocowiseInstagramEngagementJanuary2016 LocowiseInstagramPostMoreVideoJanuary2016

Locowise said in a blog post revealing its January results:

During the same period, Instagram has ramped up its advertising business as Facebook is pushing the platform to deliver return-on-investment. Some reports show that the volume of Instagram ad impressions has increased by a factor of 13 over the past five months. The plan is to get even more advertisers on board.

Analysts predict that Instagram will grow to 520 million monthly active users during the year and that it will generate up to $2 billion in revenue by end of 2016. Instagram no longer seems as independent as it was in the years since its acquisition by Facebook in 2012. It’s interesting to think about how long WhatsApp will be able to hold to its commitment to not run advertising.

Readers: What did you think of Locowise’s Instagram findings for January 2016?

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