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Young Users Zoom In on Instagram

Around one-third of US social networkers use Instagram

January 9, 2015 | Demographics | Social Media

Taking photos and recording videos via smartphone is getting big, and photo-sharing social network Instagram may be benefiting as a result. According to a November 2014 study by Frank N. Magid Associates, the percentage of US social users who used Instagram rose from 24% to 32% between 2013 and 2014—a figure more than double that in 2012 and in line with eMarketer’s estimate that Instagram penetration among social users in the US was 24.9% in 2013 and 30.4% last year. We expect this to reach 33.8% this year.

Social Networks Used by US Social Network Users, 2012-2014 (% of respondents)

Meanwhile, Magid found that the percentage of social media users who used Facebook and Twitter dropped slightly to 90% and 39%, respectively. Google+ was the only network that sat between fourth-place Instagram and second-place Twitter.

Research points to millennials as the key drivers of Instagram usage among the adult population.

Social Networks Accessed by US Internet Users, by Age, Nov 2014 (% of respondents)

November 2014 polling by Cowen and Company found that 18-to-29-year-old US internet users were more likely than any other age group to use Instagram. Fully 44% of respondents who had used the social network in the past 30 days were in that age range.

Moving down the age spectrum, teens are also big fans of Instagram, as evidenced by an AVG study conducted in September 2014. Here, 62% of 11-to-16-year-old US internet users reported using Instagram—the second-highest percentage, trailing Facebook (80%) and well ahead of third-place Twitter (39%).

eMarketer estimates that there will be 60.3 million Instagram users in the US this year, and 12- to 34-year-olds will represent a whopping 78% of that total (18.2% share for teens, 27.6% for those 18 to 24 and 32.2% for adults 25 to 34). Fully 56.0% of 18-to-24-year-old US internet users will access Instagram via any device at least monthly in 2015, as will 45.5% of web users ages 12 to 17 and 47.5% of those 25 to 34.

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