- As the second-largest of the major social platforms, Instagram has a substantial user base and a still-appealing aesthetic.
- But Instagram will lose its No. 2 ranking in the Middle East and Africa to TikTok.
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Instagram’s maturity is its biggest strength. Facebook’s photogenic younger sibling is all grown up, both in the size and age of its user base. As the second-largest of the major social platforms, it has a substantial user base, a still-appealing aesthetic, and signature features such as Stories that will help keep it an important vehicle for global marketers.
We’ve rounded up key trends and highlights about Instagram users in 2022.
How many users does Instagram have?
Instagram is the second-largest worldwide social network with nearly 1.3 billion monthly global users this year. Our estimates are lower than Instagram’s own figures because our methodology removes spam, fake, business, and nonhuman users. A CNBC article, citing internal sources, stated that Instagram now has 2 billion users worldwide.
Global Instagram user stats
Instagram’s dominance on the world’s stage is still strong; Only fellow Meta-owned social network Facebook is larger. Instagram’s worldwide user base grew by 383 million from 2019 to 2021—roughly the equivalent of adding two Russias or three Japans. More than one-third of global social network users now use it, and its penetration among internet users will top 30% next year.
But Instagram will lose its No. 2 ranking in the Middle East and Africa. This year, TikTok will vault into that position among internet users, after passing Snapchat in 2020. The short-form video platform is extremely popular in the region, which makes up 17.9% of its global users in 2022.
TikTok’s leap comes as Instagram’s user base is shifting more heavily toward Asia-Pacific. The region surpassed one-third of Instagram users last year and will account for nearly 4 in 10 by 2025. This is driven in part by India, which has been Instagram’s No. 1 growth market since TikTok was banned in 2020. All other regions will hold a declining share of Instagram users in the coming years.
The fact that TikTok has moved past Instagram in usage in the Middle East and Africa is noteworthy, and a trend to pay attention to. For now, we don’t expect a similar development in other regions, but in countries with relatively young mobile user bases, the appeal of TikTok is already strong.
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Instagram user demographics
Facebook’s age problem is starting to rub off on Instagram. While teens aren’t leaving the platform, they’re also not signing up in significant numbers. Even so, Instagram’s user base will continue to grow at a formidable clip and get closer in size to Facebook.
Instagram’s user base is more than two-thirds the size of Facebook’s. Instagram will add 19.5 million users between 2020 and 2025 and be close to three-quarters the size of Facebook by the end of that year.
Millennials will continue to be the core of Instagram’s user base, but Gen Z is closing in. Together, those two generations will account for 71.7% of Instagram’s US users in 2022 and more than three-quarters in 2025.
Instagram’s growth among teens is marginal. Instagram will add just 400,000 teen users between 2020 and 2025. Recent reports that show Instagram as detrimental to young peoples’ mental health aren’t likely to help. While Instagram has made protecting teens on its platform a priority, it’s unlikely to be enough to convince teens to join. It’s also only part of Instagram’s problem: Many teens aren’t signing up simply because they prefer other social networks.
Marketing on Instagram
Audience age is a key factor in forming any social media strategy. Besides TikTok, teens are gravitating toward Snapchat. Meanwhile, millennials aren’t growing out of Instagram, and Gen Z are growing more into it. Instagram and Snapchat’s continued relevance among their core user bases will also continue to attract advertisers. We expect Instagram’s US ad revenues to rise by 25.6% to $33.25 billion in 2022.
Leading platforms Facebook and Instagram should watch out as their popularity among teens continues to wane. In fact, trends in the US show that a good chunk of Instagram’s users are approaching middle age. This will be less evident in developing markets where users may be newer to Instagram but is an important consideration for marketers seeking to target younger audiences. All of this is to say, marketing to millennials must include Instagram.