The Phenomenal Growth Of Instagram: Wake Up Twitter!

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In the Glassdoor list of Top 50 companies to work with, 2014, Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) was right at the top. But this year Twitter doesn’t feature on the list at all. Twitter is also losing its name in the social networking domain. Now, it is also overtaken by the photo and video sharing app Instagram when Instagram declared that now it has 300 million monthly users.

Instagram status today

In 2012, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) bought Instagram at $1 billion. February 2013 recorded a huge number of 200 million monthly users on Instagram. And now, Instagram has 300 million users per month with 70 million uploads every day. In fact, Instagram reached 150 million users in half the time Twitter took to achieve that number. 13% of internet users use Instagram with 75 million users per day. 41% of Instagram users are young, aged 16-24. All this data serves as a wake-up call for Twitter as Q3, 2014 records 284 million monthly active users on Twitter. In order to regain its position, Twitter needs to work harder.

Twitter is losing it: Work before its too late

In Q1, 2014, the micro-blogging network Twitter earned revenue of $250.49 million, which surged up to $361.27 million in Q3 2014. But if we look at the year-on-year growth rate, in the first quarter it was 119.07%, in the second quarter it was 124.12% and in the third quarter it again went down to 114.3%. Hence, the declining growth rate is another bad sign for Twitter. Twitter is losing its grip on the market and its position in it. The sfalling share price of Twitter is another alarming issue.

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Internet users are always looking for something new. This is one of the biggest reasons why the popularity of Facebook and Twitter is decreasing constantly. These social networking sites have nothing more interesting to offer. Though, Facebook is still trying to introduce new features like Nearby Friends and A Look Back, Twitter is unable to think of something interesting enough. Instagram, on the other hand, declared a thorough check up for the fake accounts which would be undertaken in the recent future. According to an estimate, Instagram may end up deleting almost 10 million users for the sake of its users’ safety and to clean its database. For example; when one searches for Taylor Swift or Beyonce, a number of accounts are shown with the same name and the image of the very same celebrity. It is next to impossible to decipher which one of them is the real account. This might end up in the fall of the business of fake account selling companies like Rantic.com. Such attempts have also been taken up by Facebook and Twitter in the past, but these sites are again filled with fake accounts now. About 40 percent of the accounts on Facebook are unauthorized. On Twitter, we still have about 20 percent unauthorized accounts. Instagram is still growing and at a very fast pace. But, Facebook and Twitter are already established social networking sites. So they need to continuously ensure the safety of their users. Though, it doesn’t make much difference to Facebook as ultimately Facebook itself owns Intagram. But Twitter has to keep working towards its improvisation.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, “As more people and businesses join, keeping Instagram authentic is critical. We’re committed to doing everything possible to keep Instagram free from the fake and spammy accounts that plague many of the growing communities on the web, and that’s why we’re finishing up some important work that began earlier this year.”

E-commerce has a new platform to flourish

Brands and advertisers prefer advertising on those sites which are more popular among the internet users for best results. All this while, Twitter served as such a platform. But now, Instagram might take over. Considering the growing popularity and adoption of Instagram, especially among the young generation, brands have started turning towards Instagram to leverage image ad popularity. This would hamper the brand value of Twitter even more. We already have brands like Starbucks, Estee Lauder and Waitrose advertising on Instagram. Now, Michael Kors have also joined the list. July 2014 recorded nine international brands advertising on Instagram namely; Fox and Fawn, Prep Obsessed, Limelight Extensions, Yumbox, Shwoodshop, Hard Graft, Bonobos, Shopatrend and The Beaufort Bonnet Company.  Thus, Twitter needs to gear up and come up with something outstanding for its users in order to regain its market position.

Facebook, the true winner; Twitter still lagging behind

Instagram’s worldwide fame comes as a big blow on Twitter. The photo and video sharing site, owned by an American company like Facebook, has 70 percent of its users from outside US. Brands, now, have a bigger forum to promote and reach out to people all over the world. In fact, internet users interact with posts on Instagram 18 times the rate they do with Facebook posts, as recorded by L2.

Though, Facebook is losing its fame and popularity, yet it comes out as the ultimate winner for owning Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp. Again, Whatsapp was bought by Facebook with $22 billion which has 600 million monthly users as recorded in August 2014. Introducing the Facebook Messenger app was another brilliant business strategy of Facebook. Thus, Facebook does enough homework to improve its marketing strategies and never misses a point to earn that extra revenue. Now, Facebook is planning to introduce free internet to the developing countries like Zambia and Tanzania. This is another business strategy to create a future market base for itself. On the other hand, the growth of Twitter is stranded. Twitter should try to introduce new features or apps to enhance its domain for more business. It needs to work hard on its marketing strategies to catch the attention of its users.

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