Welcome to our study of 2,500 Instagram profiles, and their results and performance in the month of April.

April was an interesting month in the world of Instagram. We’ve now also seen the arrival of the brand new app icon and design interface.

Let’s take a look at growth and engagement on the platform, and all the other things you need to know.

Instagram Images Generate 31%25 More Engagement Per Post Than Videos

$3.2 billion in expected revenue in 2016

Analysts at Credit Suisse Group forecast $3.2 billion in revenue for Instagram this year. That’s more than 3 times what Facebook paid when they bought the app in 2012.

A study by L2 Think Tank showed that brands from every industry sector have now adopted the platform. 100% of auto brands are active on Instagram. Almost all brands from industries such as fashion, travel, beauty, watches and jewelry are on too.

It’s not all sunshine in the world of Instagram. Snapchat is catching up to its popularity, especially among teens. A survey by Piper Jaffray showed that 28% of teens have Snapchat as their most important social network. 27% of teens list Instagram as number one network. Twitter is at 18% while Facebook is at 17%.

Follower growth down by 91.79% over the last 12 months

Let’s now explore the performance of the 2,500 Instagram profiles in our study.

Follower growth in April was at 0.16% of the total audience. This is a 50% decrease compared to numbers in March. This is the lowest follower growth we’ve seen since we started doing our studies in April 2015. Follower growth has declined by 91.79% in this period.

Engagement in April was at 1.04% of the total audience. This is a 5.45% decrease compared to the month of March. Engagement has dropped by 62.86% since the high in April 2015.

Brands we looked at posted 2.43 posts per day in April and the most used filter was the default filter.

Locowise Instagram Study April 2016 Followers

A new icon, a new interface and same old backlash

Instagram did some testing on the overall design of the app during the month.

They tested a design in black and white, with more white space and redesigned icons.

They turned on the new design to everyone on May 11th. It’s a new colorful icon and a black and white app.

The team behind the redesign worked on it for nine months and went through 300 variants of the icon.

The internet freaked out with people voicing their hate for this change loud and clear.

Whether you love it or hate it, you will soon get used to it through your continuous usage of the app.

Soon enough you will consider and recognise the new interface as the Instagram app and the Instagram design.

Here’s Kevin Systrom’s announcement of the new design.

Another great video push but images still rule

Instagram is following in the steps of Facebook by doing a great video push. Video consumption on Instagram has increased by 40% over the last 6 months. They now allow anyone to post 60-second videos, carousel ads can feature videos too, and interactive rollover video advertising may be coming soon too.

Instagram has also improved the “Explore” page by introducing themed channels and “Videos you might like”. “Videos you might like” is an algorithmic feature that recommends videos based on the interests of the user. This update is available in the US right now and is being rolled out to the rest of the world too.

Despite the video push images stood for 90.81% of all the posts published during the month of April.

Images engaged 1.07% of the followers on average while videos engaged 0.81%. You stand to gain 31.1% extra engagement by posting images rather than videos.

Only 1.75% of the total engagements were comments, but 18.56% of all comments were posted on videos.

Locowise Instagram Study April 2016 Posts

Instagram business profiles with Insights are on the way

Business profiles, the Instagram equivalent to a Facebook Page, are coming to the platform. We discussed this topic earlier and now we’ve seen the first tests in the wild.

So what do the business profiles look like? There is a “Contact” button. It allows people to get the directions to the business and to contact the company via email. Business profile owners are also allowed to choose the category of their business.

Business profiles will also include analytics. These are called “Insights” just like on Facebook. Instagram Insights feature:

● Total followers including new followers gained this week
● Follower demographics including location by city or country, gender and age
● Breakdown of female to male follower ratio
● Days of the week and hours of the day that the followers are active on the platform
● Post insights including impressions (number of times your post has been viewed) and reach (number of unique accounts that have viewed your post) in the period of last 7 or 30 days
● Website clicks showing the number of times the link in your profile has been clicked

Instagram has confirmed that they “are testing new business tools coming to Instagram in a few months.”

Instagram Business Profiles

Image source: blog.later.com

Pop culture, sports, holidays and other events

A new study by Nielsen showed that Instagram users are 42% more likely to spend money on music than the general population. They also spend 30% more time listening to music and spend twice as much money on music as people who use other social media apps.

The most popular music genres on Instagram are pop, hip-hop, rap and R&B. Take a look at our article on how superstar DJs rock Instagram and drive fan engagement.

Instagram has also released information on the topics people posted about the most in the month of April. The data is for the US only. It shows people primarily talking about the pop culture, sports, events and holidays.

You should try to take advantage of this by posting more content relevant to these trending topics. Take a look at our guide to posting content that is not necessarily within your industry topic in order to grow your social media engagement.

Adweek - Instagram hot topics

Image source: Adweek

● Consider how you can include more content around different trending topics such as sporting events and celebrities. This could be a great way for you to get organic growth and engagement.

● Take a look at Locowise 3.0. Our brand new version crunches your Instagram data and gives you practical recommendations for when to post, how many times to post, which hashtags to use and much more. Get a free trial now.