Instagram expected to overtake Facebook by end of 2020

Instagram expected to overtake Facebook by end of 2020

In 2012, Facebook made a bold move to purchase a lesser known unpopular social media platform for $1 billion. Fast forward almost 7 years later and that less popular brand, known as Instagram, is set to overtake Facebook in terms of users by the end of 2020.

Whilst Facebook’s monthly users of 2.2 billion still surpasses the 800 million users on Instagram, the trends provided by Statista show that Facebook is on the down, and Instagram is on the up.

In 2017 alone, Facebook lost 2.5 million users under the age of 25. Perhaps a small number, but never before had the social media giant seen such a decline. A strong number considering that the choices of young people will heavily influence their friends and those around them. In the same time, in 2017, Instagram followers increased from 600 million to 800 million, a growth of 33%.

Why is Instagram overtaking Facebook?

More mobile focused – Instagram is a full mobile experience, although it is also available on desktop and tablet. However, the majority of social media users in 2019 are based on mobile and Instagram is extremely mobile friendly and essentially made for mobile. Various functions of the site are designed to keep people using their mobile devices – for instance, photos can only be uploaded on Instagram by mobile, not using a desktop.

More youth focused – Instagram appeals to a younger audience that enjoy taking photos and posting stories. Whilst not hard to use, Instagram is slightly trickier than using Facebook, for someone that has not used it before. As more and more adults and people over 50 adopt Facebook, it becomes a place to reconnect with old high school friends and less ‘cool’ to a young audience who don’t want their parents spying on them. “Instagram fits this bill perfectly,” explains youth marketing company Zak Agency. “It is more technical and more image focused to appeal to a young audience.”

Story integration – Whilst story integration is now full included in Facebook’s functionality, this was initially an Instagram proposition. Users loved the idea of creating video bites, boomerangs and videos that would disappear (taking a popular function from Snapchat). This was something that Facebook did not offer and users loved the idea of posting and viewing stories, especially from influencers and celebrities.

Gamification of followers – Instagram is a platform for influencers and followers based on visual appearance, not wittiness or speech (like Twitter). The fashion, beauty, food and fitness industries have exploded on Instagram through the use of visual marketing and the ability to filter photos to gain the perfect quality. Whilst Facebook allows you to follow people, it is not nearly as effective or as addictive in the gamification of Instagram and trying to get new followers.


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