Instagram Is Just A Beast

In a few years we may look back on Facebook buying Instagram for $1B as the bargain of the century. I say this as someone who’s not even that big a fan of Instagram and rarely uses it.

That said, I’ve started testing sharing from Pegg to Instagram. And whenever I do I’m blown away by Instagram’s engagement. Not only in sheer numbers, but also speed. Within minutes of posting something dozens of likes. And mind you I only have just over 100 followers. The engagement on Instagram crushes any other platform. It’s not even close.

My guess is most folks check Insta a few dozen times a day. Maybe more. And while Twitter can probably boast a similar stat, the “engagement” with posts (starring, retweeting, or replying) is far, far, far lower. As for other services (Tumblr, Facebook, etc) the numbers are even lower. In Tumblr’s case the numbers tend to only be high for viral posts. Things that skyrocket to popularity, while the vast majority (probably over 95% of posts) get no to a few likes. Facebook has the same problem it has always had – just so much content in the feed and its random algorithm means most folks never even see your post let alone get a chance to like it or comment on it. My posts there (since I post so infrequently to FB) get 1 or 2 likes that’s it.

But, back to Instagram. I haven’t posted to Insta in a few months. But, boom, as soon as I do the likes rack up. You see the same pattern with not just me, but with anyone, and especially celebrities. Take Kim Kardashian (really, please, someone take her away). Her posts on Instagram readily top the millions. Posting to other services they barely register. Maybe, maybe a few thousand, even when she has the same number of followers.

As I said at the beginning I’m not a big Instagram fan. It’s just not for me. It gets boring seeing the same photo (basically) over and over and over again (yes, we get it, nice sunset). Still, I tip my hat to them for building arguably the most successful, sticky, addictive, engaging social platform of all time.

It’s downright impressive.

3 thoughts on “Instagram Is Just A Beast

  1. Instagram is a great platform. It’s really positive. I never see anything that upsets me on Instagram. And yes, people really engage.

    Have you seen what Buzzfeed News are doing with it? I think it’s brilliant.

    Instagram doesn’t allow links or retweets and I think that’s a big part of its success. You have to post your own work and once you’re in you stay in.

    Like you, I don’t find Instagram “for me”, but there’s a lot learn from its interaction model.


    1. That’s pretty cool usage by Buzzfeed. Hadn’t seen that.

      Yeah, Insta has built something special for sure. It’s a true testament to keep it simple and do one thing really well.


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