Blog Post

On Twitter (and elsewhere), Instagram Growth Zooms

I have some news for Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram, a San Francisco-based, photo-oriented, social network: They are the fastest growing photo sharing service on Twitter. I’m not surprised. As you know, many folks take photos and share them via Twitter, thanks to services like Twitpic, Yfrog and even Twitter itself. However, Instagram is slightly different; if you’re an iPhone user, you take a photo, upload to Instagram, then share it on Twitter.

Skylines, a Dutch startup focused on real-time photo search, has been analyzing the Twitter feed and has some unique insights into the market. From May 23 to June 26, 2011, Skylines found Instagram usage has gone up 38 percent: from 538,000 photos shared weekly to 740,000 photos shared each week.

Instagram CEO Systrom had recently observed that only 11 percent of Instagram members were using Twitter and by that metric, Instagram members might be adding about a million photos a day to Instagram. Add those two data points together, and one can extrapolate that Instagram is gathering steam. The service recently passed the five million subscriber mark. This level of engagement is one of the reasons why I believe Instagram has a chance of becoming the mobile social hub.

Skylines also shared some other data for the five-week period analysis.

  • From May 23rd to June 26, 2011, there were 33 million photos shared on Twitter via Twitpic, Yfrog, Instagram and Mobypicture (the four services indexed by Skylines).
  • Twitpic is no slouch. It was responsible for sharing of 3.295 million photos during the week of June 20, making it the largest photo-sharing service.
  • Yfrog was used to share 2.98 million photos during the same week.
  • The growth in the total number of photos shared in the five-week period measured was 17 percent.
  • Only 4 percent of the pictures are geo-tagged, while 15 percent have a hashtag.
  • Not surprisingly, weekends are the most popular days to share photos.

As the data shows, while Twitter might have launched its own photo sharing service via Photobucket, the independent photo-sharing services have not seen any kind of slowdown, though there are some dark clouds looming ahead for the likes of Twitpic and Yfrog.

Photo Sharing Services for Twitter
Week starting 5/23/2011 5/30/2011 6/6/2011 6/13/2011 6/20/2011
Raw numbers of pictures /week
instagram 538,048.00 600,911.00 635,489.00 703,298.00 740,390.00 3,218,136.00
twitpic 2,900,928.00 2,971,766.00 3,062,148.00 3,189,700.00 3,294,914.00 15,419,456.00
yfrog 2,562,306.00 2,699,349.00 2,792,809.00 2,903,831.00 2,979,214.00 13,937,509.00
mobypicture 43,111.00 45,962.00 45,639.00 45,344.00 44,568.00 224,624.00
Total pictures / week 6,044,393.00 6,317,988.00 6,536,085.00 6,842,173.00 7,059,086.00 32,799,725.00
Percentage of total pictures shared per service
instagram 8.90% 9.51% 9.72% 10.28% 10.49% 9.81%
twitpic 47.99% 47.04% 46.85% 46.62% 46.68% 47.01%
yfrog 42.39% 42.72% 42.73% 42.44% 42.20% 42.49%
mobypicture 0.71% 0.73% 0.70% 0.66% 0.63% 0.68%
Growth compared to previous week
instagram 11.68% 5.75% 10.67% 5.27% 37.61%
twitpic 2.44% 3.04% 4.17% 3.30% 13.58%
yfrog 5.35% 3.46% 3.98% 2.60% 16.27%
mobypicture 6.61% -0.70% -0.65% -1.71% 3.38%
Total market growth per week 4.53% 3.45% 4.68% 3.17% 16.79%
Source: Skylines

Here’s a video interview with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.

11 Responses to “On Twitter (and elsewhere), Instagram Growth Zooms”

  1. Judita Yoyona Jagušáková

    Will see what happens when Instagram joins Android. I still think, that in near future they sell it to another company. Maybe for google it will be a good choice ;-)

  2. I’ve loved it from the start and I’ve been seeing more and more of my “normal” friends popping in there. I think the main thing it has going for it is just how intuitive it is to use from day one. All the techie heads are off on Google + now but this has more than enough steam to take off and the social features that they are baking in make it a very exciting proposition.

  3. The metric on Instagram shares on Twitter probably doesn’t take into account those that share Instagram images to Tumblr or Posterous which may then in turn share to Twitter. So I would say the amount of Instagram shares to Twitter may actually be greater.

  4. Om. I love you a lot. I love your articles. I love Instagram and I love photosharing. But do you really have to write so many articles about Instagram.

    Maybe its sour grapes but lets hear about other startups. If you need any leads I would be happy to give you some.

    • Peter

      There’s a reason it’s called GigaOM. Om is a visionary and recognizes talent and trends. When it’s called GigaLove, you can write about other startups. Until then, Om can write about whOMever he wants.

    • Love :-) I love your style of making your point and Peter thanks for coming to my defense.

      Actually Love I do write about other startups, just some you or others don’t note :-) That is okay. I will try and make more of an effort.