Welcome to our Instagram growth and engagement study for August 2017.
In these monthly studies, we look at 2,500 Instagram profiles and their growth and engagement on the platform.
We also look at the latest product improvements and other news too to help you identify the trends and standards on the platform.
Engagement still at the record low
Follower growth in August was at 0.07% of the total audience. This is a 40% increase compared to the record low follower growth we saw in July.
Post engagement in August was consistent with July at 0.8% with 99% of all engagements being likes. This continues to be the lowest engagement rate we’ve seen since we started doing our studies in May 2015.
Photo posts engaged 0.8% of the audience while video posts engaged 0.6%.
Profiles were trying to combat the decrease in engagement by posting more. The average profile posted 3 times per day in August with 84% of all posts being images.
One-year anniversary of Instagram Stories
It’s a one-year anniversary of Instagram introducing (Snapchat) Stories to its platform. Instagram has released more than 20 new Stories-features during the year. The latest is the announcement that users can now view Stories on the desktop or mobile web. The ability to post stories using mobile web is coming soon too, but the platform doesn’t plan to allow social media managers to post from the desktop.
Today, Stories have more than 250 million daily active users. Over 50% of brands on Instagram have posted at least one Instagram story during the last month. One in five organic stories from brands gets at least one direct message as a response.
Instagram has also announced that its users under 25 years of age spend “more than 32 minutes a day” and users over 25 years of age “spend more than 24 minutes a day” on the Instagram app.
Why did Instagram suddenly release their time spent in app stats for the first time in three years? To prove that their Snapchat copy is now actually more engaging than the original.
Latest statement from Snapchat in February 2017 had users of 25 years of age or under spending “over 30 minutes on Snapchat every day” and users over 25 years of age spending “approximately 20 minutes on Snapchat every day”.
This news has caused the share price of Snapchat to go to an all-time low during the month.
A hack hits millions of Instagram users
Not everything was all positive for Instagram during the month. The platform was hit by a hack that affected millions of users including many verified accounts and celebrity users.
There was a bug on the platform that could be used to access private information such as email addresses and phone numbers of users.
Victims’ contact information is available to purchase on the dark web including phone numbers for celebrities such as:
● Actors: Emma Watson, Emilia Clarke, Zac Efron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Channing Tatum.
● Musicians: Harry Styles, Ellie Goulding, Victoria Beckham, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Adele, Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears.
● Athletes: Floyd Mayweather, Zinedine Zidane, Neymar, David Beckham, Ronaldinho.
In other news, it has been reported about “several employees getting fired for selling verification” of profiles on the platform. There is a black market for those blue checkmarks designated for public figures and celebrities. The fee can be anywhere up to $15,000.
Other improvements to the platform
Users can now choose between landscape and portrait formats when posting posts with multiple photos or videos. All photos or videos within the post must be in the same format though. Users can now also edit tagged people after the post has been published and even saving these posts as drafts for publishing in the future.
Users can now reply with photos or videos within direct messages. There’s also an option to send split-screen replies.
All data and metrics now available in the API
Instagram has had an upgrade to its API. Businesses with Instagram Business Profiles can now get access to a new and improved API with access to all the metrics and data. The API now also includes the option for brands to moderate comments including hiding of individual comments or turning the comments off completely.