— October 10, 2017
Welcome to our Instagram growth and engagement study for the month of September 2017. In these monthly studies, we look at 2,500 Instagram profiles and their performance on the platform.
We also look at the latest Instagram product improvements and other platform news too. Let’s get started.
Follower growth and engagement rate hit record lows
Follower growth in September was at 0.05%. We’re back to the same, record-low follower growth that we saw in July of this year. Users posted three times per day in September with 84% of posts being images.
Post engagement in September was at 0.7% of the audience. This is the lowest engagement rate that we’ve seen since we started doing our studies in April 2015. Images had an engagement rate of 0.7% while videos engaged 0.5% of the audience.
Instagram hits 800 million monthly active users
Instagram continues its rapid growth. 100 million more monthly active users have been added since the last update in April, and the app is now up on 800 million monthly actives. 500 million of these use the app every day.
Video is on the way up
Users spend 80% more time viewing video on Instagram this year than they did last year and they are posting four times as many videos as they did last year. The option to use face filters in live video broadcasts has been added during the month.
Videos can now auto-play with sound on
Facebook and the advertisers really want you to listen to their content. The new silent movie era doesn’t work for most big brands.
This is why Instagram rolled out an update that can auto-play videos with sound on. This works both for organic and paid video content, but it doesn’t work for Stories. It’s a cautious approach as the platform is wary that users might not like all the content being auto-played with sound on so they have made a smart compromise.
What happens is that by default all videos auto-play with sound off, but if you do decide to turn on the audio on one of the videos that setting will be saved and all the other videos will be played with audio on during the rest of your session. When you close the app, this setting resets back to the default auto-play with sound off.
2 million advertisers on Instagram
The user growth is not the only growth on the platform. Instagram has seen a doubling of active advertisers since March 2017. There are now 2 million brands advertising on the platform.
Facebook is hoping to make Stories the next big ad platform
Several updates have been released to make it easier for advertisers to repurpose their Instagram Stories as paid advertising.
There’s now a tool that lets you convert your organic stories into paid stories ads. Canvas ad format can now be used on Stories too.
Post your Instagram Stories to Facebook
Facebook is about to officially launch the ability for anyone to post their Instagram Stories directly to Facebook Stories too. Businesses are an exception to this as they are not allowed to post Facebook Stories yet, but we hope that this will be coming very soon too. The ability to post your Facebook Stories to Instagram may be coming also.
A new way for users to share Stories
Instagram is now allowing users to share other people’s stories using Direct Messages.
If you want to keep your Stories private and for your followers only, there is an option in Settings to opt-out of the sharing feature.
Instagram is testing option to share your ‘Story’ directly to Facebook
— Matt Navarra ?? (@MattNavarra) September 6, 2017
New comment moderation ability
You can now limit who can comment on your posts. You already have the ability to completely turn off comments on a post-by-post basis, but you can now also restrict those that you don’t follow or those that don’t follow you from commenting. This new feature allows you to restrict commenting on your posts to people that you follow only, or limit it to only people that follow you, or allow only people that you follow and that follow you to comment.
Would you like to dig deeper into these 2,500 Instagram profiles and make an even more detailed comparison with your own profiles? Get a free Locowise trial now!