Instagram has come a long way over the past couple of years, amassing over 400 million users, and doing quite well on the advertising front. However, Locowise reports that there could be struggle going into the year ahead.

The report indicates that growth on the Facebook-owned photo/video site has shown a decrease in growth by 88 percent, while engagement has also dropped by 61 percent. As shown chart is below, the numbers have been in a relatively steady decline over the past few months.

locowise instagram chart“If you want to achieve a great growth on Instagram, you do need to consider alternative tactics,” the report explains. “Organic growth will not get you far.” It also makes note that influencer outreach is very much worth considering, especially now that advertising is open across the board on the site. Artists like Skrillex, Diplo and others have used Instagram to increase fan engagement.

Not all the news was negative. The report also notes that Instagram still has a notable lead over Facebook and Twitter when it comes to follower growth, showing an increase of .23 percent. It’s small, but still positive and above Twitter’s .09 percent and Facebook’s .14 percent for the month of December. Locowise also noted that engagement rate for Instagram was higher, with 1.08 percent from total followers, compared to .1 percent for Twitter and .37 percent for Facebook.

As far as what users like to look at the most on the site, images continue to dominate over video. Over 91 percent of posts on the site for December were made up of images, and got response from users, with 1.1 percent engagement from all followers. That’s higher than the 0.83 percent from those that watch videos.

Locowise noted that Instagram is looking to expand its Spotlight Compilations section in an effort to increase both engagement and growth, while increasing its video exposure with more creative efforts.

It may also look into a more social option on the site, as 97.4 percent of all the engagements on Instagram merely consist of “likes,” rather than given commentary.

The report also noted a side article that discusses what brands do differently on Instagram to be effective, such as Mercedes’ provocative car campaign, Microsoft’s focus on Xbox imagery and H&M’s focus on products instead of models.

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There’s certainly a lot to consider here, but if companies can take the right steps needed to engage the audience, then they can find something that works on Instagram.