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3/28/2014
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Instagram Trumps Twitter In Mobile Users

Instagram surpassed Twitter in monthly active mobile users in the US, says new report.

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All those shameless selfies and filtered photos have done Instagram well: The photo-sharing app surpassed Twitter's monthly active mobile users in the US, according to a new report.

Research company eMarketer released new numbers this week on Instagram's growth: This year, 40.5 million Instagram users will log on monthly. Meanwhile, Twitter's monthly active users are set to grow by 7 million this year to 37.8 million -- 2.7 million less than Instagram.

"Instagram usage in the US has ramped up rapidly and is already maturing, reaching regular usage levels nearly matching Twitter's, particularly on smartphones and among millennials and Gen Xers," the report said. "By the end of this year, almost 25% of US smartphone users will snap a photo, slap on a filter, and share their creations with their friends on Instagram on a monthly basis."

Earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram, which the social network acquired in 2012 for $1 billion, crossed the 200-million-user mark. Zuckerberg revealed the milestone during an investor relations call explaining Facebook's $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR.

[Not everyone gets it right every time. Read Twitter Turns 8: How To Fail In 140 Characters.]

Instagram's growth under Facebook has been impressive. After the acquisition, Facebook said it would be happy if Instagram hit 100 million users. Two years later, Instagram has exceeded that expectation and gained an edge over Twitter.

The eMarketer report comes at an interesting time for Twitter, which announced two major photo updates this week: Users can now tag up to ten people in a photo and upload up to four photos in one tweet without it affecting their character limit.

While the update makes photo-sharing more convenient, it could be too little too late -- both Instagram and Facebook have impressive photo-sharing figures: Facebook users have shared more than 250 billion photos, while Instagram users have uploaded more than 20 billion.

The report also delved into the composition of Instagram and Twitter users. Twitter, which launched in 2006, is four years older than Instagram, and its user base shows signs of maturity. While Twitter's composition spreads the user population more evenly across age groups, Instagram's is still largely limited to a pool of millennial and Gen X users. Last year, 69% of Instagram users were between the ages of 18 and 44; this year, that figure will drop slightly to 67.5%, according to eMarketer.

"Over time, Instagram's user base in these age groups will approach, but not surpass, Twitter's," the report said. "eMarketer does not expect significant shifts in usage by age for either site within our forecast period, and Instagram's user count among 19- to 44-year-olds will remain about 1 million fewer than Twitter's in each year throughout our forecast."

Instagram's growing mobile market share is also good news for its advertising efforts. In October, the app announced it would slowly introduce image- and video-based ads into users' feeds. Earlier this month, Instagram landed its first major deal with ad agency Omnicom, worth as much as $100 million in ads from clients the agency represents, according to reports.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
3/29/2014 | 8:33:54 AM
Re: Instagram vs. Oculus acquisition
VR hasn't seemed to make the same gains that other technologies have in the past. I'm no expert in VR, but I wonder if the current trend toward mobility, which, in some ways substitutes convenience (tablets) for power (traditional PCs), will slow down the growth and adoption of processor intensive applications like VR.
HoldenM410
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HoldenM410,
User Rank: Strategist
3/29/2014 | 7:52:32 AM
Re: Instagram vs. Oculus acquisition
Funny how "to instagram" has come to mean something good being made into crap, as in the way it alters photos. But the occulus vr is puzzling. Nearly 25 years ago I tried out a similar looking VR headset and gloves and we were told 5 to 10 years it will be primetime. 25 year's later im looking at pretty much the same thing and zuckerberg is saying 5 to 10 years it will be primetime. In a quarter of a century nothing has changed and still waiting.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/28/2014 | 9:02:56 PM
Instagram vs. Oculus acquisition
Zuckerberg seems pleased that the company's $1 billion investment in Instagram -- one that many thought was absurd --  is paying off. Do you think the same will ring true for its Oculus VR purchase?
Social is a Business Imperative
Social is a Business Imperative
The use of social media for a host of business purposes is rising. Indeed, social is quickly moving from cutting edge to business basic. Organizations that have so far ignored social - either because they thought it was a passing fad or just didnít have the resources to properly evaluate potential use cases and products - must start giving it serious consideration.
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