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Instagram Continues Double-Digit Growth

More than a third of mobile phone users will be on Instagram in 2016

February 22, 2016 | Social Media

Instagram continues to prove its mastery of the mobile domain, according to eMarketer’s latest internet usage forecast. This year, 89.4 million Americans will log on to Instagram at least once a month, representing 34.1% of mobile phone users. And by 2017, 51.8% of social network users will use Instagram—surpassing the 50% mark for the first time.

US Social Network Users and Penetration, by Platform, 2014-2020 (millions, % change and % of population)

Instagram’s user base is growing far faster than social network usage in general. Instagram will grow 15.1% this year, compared to just 3.1% growth for the social network sector as a whole. Over the next four years, it will add 26.9 million users, almost double the incremental users expected for Twitter and far more than any other social platform eMarketer tracks.

Instagram usage is particularly strong among millennials. This year, there will be 48.2 million millennial Instagram users in the US. By 2019, nearly two-thirds of all millennial smartphone users will use Instagram.

“Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, know that mobile has changed the way people—especially millennials and Gen X-ers—communicate, share and get information,” says eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “That's why they are leading the way in helping marketers reach this audience.”

US Millennial Instagram Users and Penetration, 2014-2020 (millions, % change and % of millennial smartphone users)

The robust growth in users is helping to drive an increasing share of Facebook’s mobile ad revenues. This year, 9.5% of Facebook”s worldwide mobile ad revenues (20.1% in the US) will come from Instagram. By next year, Instagram’s share will grow to 14.0% globally (28.0% in the US).

Instagram Net Mobile Ad Revenue Share of Facebook Mobile Ad Revenues Worldwide, US vs. Non-US, 2015-2017

“Instagram has a lot of momentum with advertisers, and its revenue is increasing rapidly. For marketers that want to target mobile millennials, Instagram is an attractive option,” says Williamson.

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