UPDATE November 16, 2018 — Instagram Stories continues to grow at an astonishing pace. The feature is now just over two years old and shows few signs of slowing down with the addition of features like the questions sticker, emoji slider, and other new stickers and filters.
While Instagram Stories was once doubted by skeptics as a mere Snapchat knockoff, Instagram Stories has quickly become an entity of its own. High adoption numbers and users’ willingness to forget that it was once a clone of Snapchat Stories is making Instagram’s two-year-old feature a success among users, content creators, businesses, and advertisers alike.
We’ve compiled the most relevant Instagram Stories statistics to show how Stories are shaping the world of social media:
1. 400 million people use Instagram Stories every day.
2. 2/5 of Instagram’s 1 billion user-base post Stories daily.
3. Snapchat’s total number of users is less than half of the number of Instagram’s Stories users.
4. Snapchat influencers are posting 2X more content on Instagram Stories than their native app.
5. Instagram Stories has increased the amount of time spent on Instagram to more than 28 minutes.
6. 1/3 of the most-viewed Instagram Stories come from business accounts.
7. The most popular face filter and sticker are the puppy ears and vibrant location sticker, respectively.
8. 1 in 3 daily Instagrammers say they have become interested in a product they saw on Stories.
9. 70% of Instagram Stories are watched with sound.
At the beginning of Q3 2018, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook Inc. reported that the number of daily active users on Instagram Stories had reached 400 million. Previously, Instagram was at the 300 million daily active user mark in November 2017.
For context, Instagram Stories quickly accumulated 250 million daily active users within a year of its launch. About 60% of Instagram’s then 400+ million daily active users were accessing Instagram Stories. Launched on August 2, 2016, Instagram Stories rolled out 20 new features within Instagram Stories in the base year, including stickers and Boomerang. Since then, it’s become a staple in the world of photo- and video-sharing and social media.
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At launch, Instagram totaled at a little over 500 million users. Six months later, it was up 100 million users at 600 million. Four months after that, its user base hit 700 million, growing at a faster rate than ever. Likewise, Instagram Stories has shown no signs of slowing down, as its daily user rate is now 2/5 users versus 1/3 in 2017. This means that out of the 1 billion active users on Instagram, 40% of total users are loyal to the Stories feature. Instagram’s addition of Stories has undoubtedly aided the platform’s popularity and relevance by bringing in an ephemeral photo-sharing feature popular with millennial and Gen Z demographics.
In Q3 2018, Snapchat reported 188 million daily active users worldwide, while Instagram announced 400 million daily active global users. This means not only has Instagram surpassed Snapchat by total active users, but also Snapchat’s total active users don’t even make up half of the number of users posting Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories first surpassed Snapchat’s total user base in April 2018, which announced it had 191 daily users compared to 200 million on Instagram Stories.
The growth on Instagram Stories has taken a toll on Snapchat, which admits that its “competitors may mimic [their] products and harm user engagement and growth.” Moreover, reports have found that Snapchat Stories view counts have declined 15-40% since the Instagram Stories launch. Views on top Snapchat accounts have declined 15-30%.
Instagram Stories isn’t only affecting viewership on Snapchat Stories, but also content creation by users and influencers. Despite their popularity on the Snapchat platform, major Snapchat social media stars were posting on Instagram Stories 2 times more than Snapchat Stories in 2017.
Our first 2017 study found that Snapchat influencers were posting 25% more on Instagram Stories than Snapchat Stories, in which influencers were averaging 5.3 Snapchat Stories vs. 6.6 Instagram Stories per day just a few months after Instagram’s Stories launch. A followup study a few months later revealed influencers averaged 7.6 Instagram Stories per day compared to only 3.5 Snapchat Stories per day.
By March 2018, 52% of Instagram influencers had reportedly replaced Snapchat Stories with Instagram Stories completely. Influencer preference for Instagram can be attributed to Instagram’s great reach, content discoverability, and ease of use.
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In an interview, Kevin Systrom, Instagram co-founder, said that Stories has become “almost as important” as Instagram’s main feed. Instagram reported that Stories has encouraged users to use the platform longer and more frequently. They also announced that people under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on the platform while those older will spend more than 24 minutes a day. Estimates of time spent on Instagram before Stories range from 15 minutes to 21 minutes. Time spent on Instagram Stories is also greater than that spent on Snapchat, which reported users under 25 spending over 30 minutes a day on the app, while users 25 and older spent about 20 minutes a day.
Instagram recently announced that over 1/3 of the most-viewed Instagram Stories come from business accounts. Back in November 2017, the company announced that there were over 25 million business profiles that existed on the platform. Earlier that year, there were 8 million worldwide registered profile businesses, 50% of which had created a story. Of the stories created by these businesses, one in five organic stories received a direct message from a consumer.
The high engagement can be widely attributed to Instagram users’ willingness to follow businesses. 80% of Instagrammers are following a business on the platform. Facebook Inc. recently released a statement detailing Retailer Overstock’s success with the Instagram feature. The internet retailer reportedly ran video ads in Instagram Stories with a “Shop Now” button and saw an 18% increase in return on ad spend and a 20% decrease in cost-per-acquisition.
In Stories’ one year anniversary, Instagram noted the top five popular face filters:
It also reported the top 5 popular stickers:
On average, more than 1 in 3 self-reported daily active Instagrammers surveyed said they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it on Instagram Stories. Over 1 million advertisers are placing native ads on Instagram at least once a month, and the addition of Instagram Stories ads has made it even more appealing in the last six months. From Instagram ads, over 120 million users clicked and visited a website, got directions, called, emailed, or sent a direct message to get more information about an advertised business.
About 70% of Instagram Stories are watched with the sound on, meaning that advertisers can be assured of engagement (as users must manually toggle the sound on; audio is not automatic). Instagram makes it clear that Stories with sound on creates the most immersive experience and storytelling. Combined with full-screen mobile screen displays, Instagram Stories ads represents an advertising tool that meets the needs of modern marketing.