Instagram tops Twitter in U.S. mobile engagement, ComScore finds

U.S. smartphone users visited Instagram more often and spent more time on the service than they did with Twitter’s mobile products in August, according to a ComScore study reported by AllThingsD.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing app had an average of 7.3 million daily active users on mobile last month, compared to Twitter, which had 6.868 million mobile DAU. The report also found that users spent 257 minutes on average with Instagram via mobile last month. Users spent an average of 169.9 minutes viewing Twitter mobile content.

This highlights the rapid growth of Instagram and suggests Facebook made a good choice to acquire the company. Between its site, native apps and now Instagram, Facebook dominates mobile usage. Many of the top third-party Android and iOS apps have also begun to integrate Facebook, either with single sign-on, Open Graph or other sharing options. It remains to be seen how Facebook will capitalize on this dominance and generate significant mobile revenue, but a recent test that uses Facebook data to target ads in third-party apps and mobile sites seems to be a start.

ComScore’s data only measured activity from U.S. users over 18. Instagram may have even more younger users than Twitter, though Twitter seems to have more international reach. Facebook can better monetize U.S. users, particularly those with smartphones where it can show rich mobile ad units. Facebook’s average revenue per user in the U.S. and Canada was $3.20 in the second quarter of 2012, compared to the worldwide average of $1.28. Facebook does not currently serve any ads within in Instagram, but we can imagine a Sponsored Story or Promoted Post type format working well, as we’ve written about previously. Many brands are active on Instagram and would pay to get more reach for their photos, similar to what they do on or the main Facebook app.

Instagram has gained more than 50 million new users since Facebook announced its plans to acquire the mobile photo-sharing network in April.

Image credit: AllThingsD