The Most Discussed Issues on Facebook and Instagram in September [Infographic]

The Hot Topics reports are always a good read – even if you’re confident that you know your target market, there are always some interesting anomalies and points of interest to consider. And while the data is necessarily behind time, so you can’t act on all of these trends straight away, they can help inform your content choices and approach moving forward, particularly in the case of seasonal events.

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Read full article here. 

10 Instagram Statistics to Keep in Mind When Planning Your 2018 Strategy

stories search1(2)Digital marketing changes very rapidly, so it’s important to stay caught up with new platforms, strategies and tactics.

One thing that can be extremely helpful when trying to stay ahead of the game is keeping an eye on stats – while you always need to be careful and consider the source of said statistics, they can help you predict trends and isolate opportunities in the market to make an impact.

The following Instagram stats could prove extremely valuable when planning your Instagram strategy for 2018. Check them out.

1. 70% of Hashtags on Instagram Are Branded

Brand engagement is notoriously higher on Instagram than other social channels. Brands have accepted this and decided to deploy their own hashtags to help organize the conversation.

Keep this in mind when planning campaigns in 2018 – having a campaign-specific hashtag can be very useful when tracking performance.

Get the rest of the stats here.

Brands Use Instagram Stories More Than Twice as Often as Snapchat

InstagramSnapchatiPhoneIconsFeatured-640x460Can Instagram finally eat Snapchat’s lunch once and for all? According to a new report from L2, brands are uploading to Instagram Stories more than twice as often as they are on Snapchat.

The firm tracked 89 brands who have both an Instagram and Snapchat account during July, finding that marketers posted 1,347 Instagram Stories compared to 614 Snapchat Stories. During the week of July 10, for example, 41 percent of marketers used Instagram Stories compared to 9 percent of brands who posted to Snapchat.

Moreover, Snapchat Stories are concentrated to a smaller section of brands, namely beauty and hair care marketers. Seventy-two percent of the Snapchat Stories analyzed came from beauty brands while retailers made up 13 percent of snaps. Travel, automotive, consumer electronics and activewear made up the remaining 15 percent.

On Instagram Stories, beauty and hair care brands made up 38 percent of the posts analyzed while retailers generated 26 percent of Stories. Luxury and consumer-packaged-goods marketers posted 21 percent of content. The other 15 percent of content came from activewear, consumer electronics and other types of marketers.

“As Instagram becomes the mainstream choice for brand Stories, Snapchat risks being niche-ified,” wrote L2 in the report.

Snapchat has been under fire from Instagram for more than a year, as the Facebook-owned app has steadily ripped off Snapchat’s features while increasing its users thanks to support and targeting tools from Facebook’s ecosystem. In June, Instagram reported 250 million daily users for Stories while Snap said it had 166 million daily users during its first earnings call in May.

While Snapchat has added tools for its users like links, “Instagram has integrated ecommerce handoff technology into Stories, namely swipe-up links leading to brand sites, linked influencer tags, and checkout buttons that support brand efforts to move beyond engagement metrics and render their live video content shoppable,” L2 noted in the report. “Snapchat, meanwhile, has made few adjustments to its Stories content tools, limiting the ability of brands to leverage owned content for ecommerce.”

The report also analyzed Facebook Live videos and L2 tracked 45,000 videos from 426 brands that were uploaded between August 2016 and June 2017. The firm found that 4.4 percent of brands’ uploaded videos in June were created with Facebook Live, up from 1 percent in August 2016. Luxury was the top category for brands using Facebook Live, making up 22 percent of the clips uploaded. Automotive made up 20 percent, activewear generated 14 percent and beauty brands uploaded 11 percent of the clips.

There’s still some work to be done around making sure that people see branded Live videos in newsfeeds though—unless you want to pay.

Per L2, 78 percent of Facebook Live video views were paid, an increase from 57 percent in November 2016. L2 pointed to Samsung as an example of a brand pouring money into Facebook Live—the manufacturer spent nearly $3 million on Facebook ads during the first quarter of 2017 as it launched the Galaxy 8 smartphone. A 90-minute livestream of the brand’s Unpacked event included paid promotion and racked up 1.6 million views and 14,000 shares.

Instagram Stories is still growing quickly and now has 250 million users

snapchat_vs_instagram_stories_01Instagram Stories is picking up steam.

The company reported Tuesday that Stories, the feature that lets users share videos and posts that disappear after 24 hours, is now used by 250 million people every day. That means Stories added 50 million new users in two months, one month faster than its jump from 150 million to 200 million users.

Instagram is also changing its live video feature so users can now share those live videos to their Stories. Originally, live videos on Instagram disappeared as soon as the broadcast ended, but now they could exist for up to 24 hours.

Facebook loves to tout these big user growth milestones, but the significance here is that Instagram’s version of Stories appears to be growing faster than it was at the beginning of the year. (Instagram reports these numbers whenever it wants, though, so it’s tough to say for sure.)

The new milestone means almost 100 million more people use Instagram Stories than use Snapchat, the actual inventor of the Stories format. That’s a bummer for Snapchat, because they clearly invented something that people want to use — Instagram has just scaled it more quickly.

Instagram’s growth speeds up as it hits 700 million users

instagram-700m-2017-04.pngInstagram has doubled its user base, to 700 million monthly actives in two years, fueled by Stories, web signups and better onboarding on low-end Android phones. Instagram’s growth rate is actually speeding up. It took just four months to add the last 100 million users since hitting 600 million in December, while it took six months to go from 500 million to 600 million.

Here’s a breakdown of how long it took Instagram to add each 100 million users:

  • October 6, 2010 – Launch
  • February 26, 2013 – 100 million;  28 months
  • March 25, 2014 – 200 million; 13 months
  • December 10, 2014 – 300 million; 9 months
  • September 22, 2015 – 400 million; 9 months
  • June 21, 2016 – 500 million; 9 months
  • December 15, 2016 – 600 million; 6 months
  • April 26, 2017 – 700 million; 4 months

Read the full article here. 

It’s getting harder and harder to tell Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter apart

500177608.0The world’s most popular social apps are starting to look a little … similar.

As companies like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snap have evolved, they’ve started to borrow product ideas from each other in the hope of building an all-in-one experience.

These networks are ad-supported, which means the more time users spend inside their app, the more money the companies can make.

Copying features that are popular with competitors is one way to try and increase time spent, which explains why we’ve seen so much of it recently.

The result, though, has been a rather uninspiring race to the middle. Each app is losing its unique identity in favor of features you can find inside numerous competitors.

Facebook is the worst offender here — it copied Snapchat’s signature Stories feature into four separate apps over the past nine months. Snapchat, meanwhile, is the most obvious victim on this list.

We mapped out a few of the most-imitated features below, and the companies that are copying them, though there are plenty of others that didn’t make the list:

At the center of the diagram, unsurprisingly, is Facebook and its mini-me, Instagram. Even traditional messaging services, like Messenger and WhatsApp, seem to be headed in the more traditional social direction. (Note: They are both owned by Facebook.)

 It’s possible this convergence means there is room for unique social apps to crop up and succeed, like Houseparty and its group-video feature, or Musical.ly and its user-generated music videos. More likely: The bigger players will wait these little guys out to see what works and which apps are stealing their time, and then make a move.