Launched in 2010, Instagram has grown rapidly, trampling competitors like Snapchat and Twitter along its way by adopting new features and evolving fast. Today, the Facebook-owned company is the go-to app for people who prefer communicating through visual means primarily on their phones. Below, we take a look at what makes Instagram so undeniably popular among people old and young.
Here’s why Instagram is so popular
1. Instagram works really well on mobile.
Let’s face it: More and more people prefer to do things from their smartphones rather than a desktop or laptop computer or even a tablet. We’re a mobile society now, and Instagram is an app designed for your mobile phone. In fact, the app’s features are limited on the desktop version, further incentivizing users to log in from their phones rather than their computers.
2. Instagram is an image first app.
People are highly responsive to imagery. We prefer to interpret visual information over digesting written words or audible cues. This is why visual marketing (and, in particular, influencer marketing) has been taking off in recent years.
It is also why Instagram is so popular. On Instagram, the images take center stage. In fact, captions are cut off in the main feed after a certain word count, rendering them secondary to the photographs displayed.
In our survey of Instagram super users, 70 percent of the 500 respondents confirmed that an Instagram caption, while important, is NOT the main driving force behind a successful post.
If you’re wondering what type of imagery will work best on Instagram, below is a snapshot of what our survey respondents said. In terms of engagement, 72% claim that portrait photography is the way to go, with landscape photography ranking a distant second (14%). Only 13% reported that selfies drive the most engagement on their accounts. Group photos ranked last.
Images are so critical to Instagram’s top accounts that a whole crop of third party editing apps have ridden Instagram’s coattails in gaining popularity over the last decade. Both free and paid-for photo editing apps have risen in popularity among Instagram users eager to improve their Insta game by adopting an Instagram theme or simply posting more beautiful, eye-catching images. According to our data, 53% of survey respondents ALWAYS use a third party editing app when posting to Instagram.
3. Instagram is user-friendly.
Without a doubt, Instagram is extremely user friendly. The simple interface is easy for new users to understand intuitively, no matter their age. You don’t have to be a “cord cutter” or a “cord never” to navigate this app’s various features. Instagram is also constantly rolling out new and improved features (including filters, slideshows, Stories, and Instagram TV to name just a few), and prompting users upon log-in with easy-to-follow guides about how to use them as they do. According to our survey, the Instagram feed, which has existed since the app first launch, is the favorite feature among 47% of respondents. Stories ranks a close second (43%).
If you aren’t on Instagram already, now’s the time to join. The app’s popularity isn’t likely to die down anytime soon, as it continues to improve by adding new features and users.