Instagram takes on Snapchat

Instagram takes on snapchat_ suzanne shawWith over 500 million monthly active accounts globally, Instagram has consistently maintained a young following. Recently added functionality including Stories and Livestreaming is making Instagram a lively, interactive tool and very attractive to its chief users  – the 16-24 demographic.

Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them either publicly or privately on the app, as well as through a variety of other social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

Usage and age profile

According to the July Social Networking Tracker, compiled by IPSOS MRBI, Instagram account ownership in Ireland remained constant at 23%, compare to Facebook at 64% and twitter at 26%.

The Instagram app has one of the youngest user bases of any of the social networks. Almost two-thirds of adult Instagrammers  globally are under the age of 35, with as many as 35% coming from the 16-24 age bracket (GlobalWebIndex, 2016).


Age profile of Instagram users globally. Source: Global Web Index Q3 2016

Business and Social

So, does social media have a business application? With a community of more than 500M, Instagram is one of the world’s largest mobile ads platforms. Brands have the opportunity to share their ‘stories’ with a highly engaged audience in a creative, visual way  and use ads to drive action to carefully crafted landing pages.

Latest Updates

This month,  Instagram has introduced mentions, links, and its Boomerang tool into stories, resulting in an application that now clearly distinguishes itself from its rival Snapchat.

  1. Instagram Stories launched in August 2016, Instagram Stories combines multiple posts as a way for users and brands to share all of the big moments of their day. A similar feature launched first on Snapchat.
  2. Boomerang – A novel innovation, Boomerang can be selected as an additional format option under the record button.Boomerang records and stitches together “a burst of photos into a mini video that plays forward and backward.”
  3. Tags and Mentions – Users can now tag and mention people in stories just as they do in Instagram captions and comments.
  4. Disappearing photos and videos  – content can now be sent to a select number of designated followers who are able to view the direct message twice before it disappears.

Coming Soon…

  1. Live Video – Launching November 2016 to test users and rolling out gradually over the following weeks is Instagram Live Video.  This allows users to livestream from within stories, with the videos disappearing once streaming is over.  How does it work? Tapping a new “Start Live Video” button in the camera viewer allows the user to stream live footage for up to an hour. Comments can be switched off if desired. Instagram will alert users to tell them that an account they’re following is going live.  Live footage will not be saved post-broadcast.
  2. Linking inside Stories – Instagram is starting “to test links inside some Stories,” only on verified accounts for now. Businesses and celebrities can add links to their stories that make it easy to “learn more” or “see more” with a swipe up to view the link right inside the app.


About the author: Suzanne Shaw, MBA, is an independent marketing professional with 20 years’ experience in developing business development, marketing and communications strategies, across a wide variety of sectors and businesses.  Contact Suzanne here, should you need assistance in developing a practical, proactive approach to your marketing activities.


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  1. Pingback: Social Media Usage in Ireland – Latest Figures | Suzanne Shaw Consulting·

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