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Instagram Audience in France Still Growing

Nearly 20% of internet users will access the social network in 2017

May 23, 2017 | Social Media

Nearly seven years after its launch, Instagram has yet to completely catch on with internet users in France. But adoption has been growing by double digits annually and will continue to do so for the next few years.

According to eMarketer’s most recent estimates of Instagram adoption in France, nearly one-fifth (19.8%) of the country’s internet users, or 10.3 million people, will access the social network regularly in 2017. By comparison, more than half (51.8%) will use Facebook at least monthly this year—a user penetration rate more than double Instagram’s.

Instagram Users and Penetration in France, 2016-2021 (millions, % change and % of internet users)

Initially, Instagram adoption grew fastest in English-speaking countries like the US and UK where iOS device penetration was highest. When Instagram was released for Android devices in April 2012, uptake started to pick up globally.

Though Instagram hasn’t grown as quickly as Facebook usage in France, it has been steady. eMarketer expects user growth will rise 21.4% in 2017, and adoption will continue to rise by double-digit percentages through 2019. By that time, uptake of the social platform will have spread to 24.6% of the country’s internet users.

Instagram is the most popular among France’s internet users ages 12 to 34, with penetration highest (61.7%) among 18- to 24-year-olds this year. For those ages 12 to 17 and 25 to 34, penetration will be 35.1% and 32.1%, respectively.

Adoption among younger internet users would be greater if not for their already high usage of chat apps like Facebook Messenger. However, these younger age groups will be a leading factor in overall user growth for Instagram in the years to come.

Instagram use is markedly lower among internet users 35 and older, in part because usage is almost entirely via smartphone and older cohorts in France have lower user penetration for those devices. But competition from social platforms like Facebook and Google+ is another deterrent to Instagram uptake, too.

Outside of the 18.5% of internet users ages 35 to 44 who will do so, less than 11% of those in France 45 and older will access Instagram regularly this year. Even with steady user growth in the coming years, older groups’ usage rates will remain well below those of millennials and teens.

—Corey McNair

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