Welcome to our Instagram growth and engagement study for the month of October.

Instagram turned six years old in October. The company moved into a new office and continued to improve and add to the user experience. Let’s see what results brands got on the platform last month.

Want to check your own growth and engagement stats and compare your brand to profiles in our study? Take a free trial of Locowise and use our Instagram Benchmarker tool.

Instagram Profile Follower Growth Hit The Low Point In October

Growth and engagement in October

Follower growth was at 0.11%. This is a 21.43% decrease compared to September and also the lowest growth we’ve since we started doing our monthly studies in April 2015.

It’s now extremely difficult to grow an audience on Instagram and if you’re just starting out you have a mountain to climb. One organic growth hack that might work for you is building a relationship with an influencer or two.

The average engagement rate was at 1.2% of the total followers. This is 7.69% lower than the last month. Photos engaged 1.2% of followers on average, while videos engaged 0.9%. Posting a photo gives you a 33.33% boost in engagement compared to posting a video.

According to Kevin Systrom, Instagram will work to improve the video viewing experience: “The video format in our viewer does feel similar to what a lot of other people are doing. I think that’s fine for now, but it’s not where we want to end up. We want to innovate and improve the experience.”

October Instagram Stats

Brands we looked at posted 2.72 times per day on average and photos stood for 84.98% of all content posted in October. There is one benefit of posting a video rather than posting a photo. Only 1.4% of all interactions on the platform were comments, but 28.05% of all comments were posted on videos. This shows that there might be a deeper engagement level on a video.

Snapchat is the top social media platform for the teens

Snapchat rules among the teens according to the Piper Jaffray’s new survey “Taking Stock With Teens”. 80% of teens use Snapchat at least once per month and 35% have it as their favorite social media platform.

79% use Instagram monthly and 24% have it as their favorite app. Only 52% use Facebook at least once per month, with 13% having the app as they main platform.

All this explains the urgency behind Facebook’s push into Live Video, filters and Instagram Stories. They want to try and stay relevant with the young people and get them to post more and more often. And this includes more casual content rather than highlights only.

Messengers among the teens

Instagram Stories feature is a hit

Just two months after the introduction in August, Instagram Stories now has 100 million daily active users. Snapchat is at 150 million.

Instagram is pushing Stories and they’ve now been integrated into “Explore” tab too. More than 100 million people visit that tab every day, and Instagram now suggests stories that you may like.

This is another good reason to start posting stories and expand your audience reach.

Live streaming is being tested

Instagram is testing live streaming in its “Stories”. There’s a ‘Go Insta!’ button that helps you start a broadcast. This is currently tested in Russia.

We know all about Facebook’s obsession with live video, so it’s just a matter of time before it gets introduced to all Instagram users too.

It’s going to get easier to shop for products you see on Instagram

Instagram is testing a “Tap to view products” icon with selected partners in the USA.

A tap on the icons displays product name and price and another tap gets you to a product page with full details.

From there you can click to go to a purchase page on the website or app of the partner.

The partner list includes Abercrombie & Fitch, BaubleBar, Chubbies, Coach, Hollister, J.Crew, JackThreads, kate spade new york, Levi’s Brand, Lulus, Macy’s, Michael Kors, MVMT Watches, Target, Tory Burch, Warby Parker, and Shopbop.