Over the past few months, the team at Instagram has put numerous initiatives into motion to make it an ideal place for marketers and advertisers. According to a new report, these initiatives are paying off in spades.

Business Insider reports that numbers reported by Socialfresh (in collaboration with Firebrand Group and Simple Measured) suggest that 30 percent of those polled advertise on Instagram at least once a month, running about the same level as advertising for Twitter. While it’s still at about half the level of Facebook advertising, it’s still a steady increase of effectiveness for the photo/video social platform.


The numbers show that Instagram’s growth is not only steady, but also looking to continue, as over one in four digital marketers have a plan to invest more money in Instagram over the next twelve months. It’s also worth noting that, as popular as it is with its millions of viewers, Snapchat is still on the lower end of the spectrum, with around 4.1 percent growth compared to Instagram’s 29.5 percent.

That’s a huge amount of progress in just under a year’s time, when Instagram announced its plans to open the doors for advertising on its site. It’s since gathered more than 200,000 monthly active advertisers, utilizing its video and dynamic ad formats in effective ways.

The report also notes that time spent watching videos has increased by more than 40 percent over the last six months, providing even bigger opportunities for investors to get their feet in the door with potential consumers. Socialfresh also noted that video is the second most popular content when it comes to ROI demonstration, behind the popular image posts in the number one spot.

There are several takeaways from the report, including the following:

  • Native-display ads, including social native and native ads in-feed on publisher websites, will make up the bulk of native ad revenue from 2016-2021. Native display ad revenue in the US will rise at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 percent during this time period to eclipse $36 billion. The rise of native video ads, particularly on social platforms, will be one of the main drivers of this growth.
  • Social platforms generate most of their revenue from native ads and will continue to dominate overall native ad spending through 2021. The dominance of social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat on mobile devices, where the entire experience is within a feed, will help propel social’s contribution to overall native ad revenue through 2021.
  • Sponsored content, which is categorized separately from native-display due to the direct relationship between publishers and brands in creating the format, will be the fastest-growing native format over the next five years. However, the high cost to produce these ads and the limitation in inventory will limit the format.

Instagram’s numbers should certainly improve over the next few years, given its convenient ad format, millions of users, and, of course, potential for companies big and small to shine.