Profiling Instagram’s Future on its Fifth Birthday

Instagram has hit the headlines recently with claims of surging user numbers (find out more about this here ), and as it turns five, today we take a look at what the future of this Facebook-owned social network could be.

Certainly, Instagram has gone from strength-to-strength recently – outside of China, active usage has more than doubled since Q2 2013 (from 7% to 15%). With user numbers still growing and more notable celebrities (including many US Presidential candidates) adding accounts, Instagram finds itself in a prime position to find new ways to monetize.

Online commerce options are one way that a network like Instagram can boost revenue and there is good news here for the service. Compared to the average internet user, Instagrammers are almost 60% more likely to say that the chance to buy something on a social network would increase the likelihood of them buying a product. What’s more, outside of China, almost half of active Instagram users use social networks to research products or services.

Instagram also has a young and brand-engaged user base that could be key to driving success in the realm of social commerce.  Almost 4 in 10 Instagram users are aged 16-24 (compared with less than a quarter for Facebook). And many of these Instagrammers are already comfortable with using their mobiles to shop online. In fact, last month, over a third of Instagram users purchased a product online via their mobile – making them 70% more likely to do so. Instagrammers are also the social networkers who are most likely to be following brands – half do.

All this means that Instagram has a strong future if it can truly leverage the potential of online commerce. Its next five years could see it become the driving force of social commerce.