With Instagram rising in popularity, a growing number of marketers are also looking to tap into the Instagram stream. But in order to do that effectively, you need to know the latest usage trends and shifts, so you can focus on what’s working and utilize that to your benefit.
To help with this, Instagram has this week released its annual listing of key usage trends, which includes a range of stats from throughout the year. The insights provided are mostly 'of interest', as opposed to deep analysis, but still, using this data, you can get a better perspective on what’s popular on the platform, and which users are driving the most engagement.
First off, there’s the most liked post of the year, which this year, unsurprisingly, came from Beyonce.
Celebrities fuel the Instagram engine, as they do on most social platforms – in fact, all of the top ten most liked posts on the platform in 2017 came from only three users: Beyonce (2), Selena Gomez (5) and Cristiano Ronaldo (3).
There’s probably not a heap of brand lessons you can take from these celebrity posts – part of being famous lies, obviously, in having a following - but still, it’s worth noting the popularity of each user, and seeing what makes Instagram users tick.
The top 10 most liked videos listing is much the same, with soccer stars Ronaldo and Leo Messi registering multiple appearances.
Instagram also lists the top 10 most popular hashtags of the year, with #love once again coming out on top.
#love was also the most popular Instagram hashtag last year – and has been for some time, so again, not a heap of unique insight. To provide more relevant perspective on hashtag use, Instagram’s also included a listing of the hashtags that saw the biggest increases in use throughout the year.
Again, those probably mostly align with what you’d expect, but it is interesting to note the overall trend of hashtag use on the platform. Despite putting more focus on a wider range of content, including through Stories, the aesthetic elements remain a key consideration among users.
And speaking of Stories, Instagram's provided a breakout of data on Stories usage, including the accounts with the most viewed Stories of the year.
- LeLe Pons (@lelepons)
- Neymar Jr. (@neymarjr)
- Olga Igorevna Buzov (@buzova86)
- Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian)
- Amanda Cerny (@amandacerny)
- Chiara Ferragni (@chiaraferragni)
- Maluma (@maluma)
- Anitta (@anitta)
- Ariana Grande (@arianagrande)
- Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash)
It’s very interesting to see social media influencers like LeLe Pons and Amanda Cerny in amongst those more well-known celebrities. And while it might be difficult to get those bigger name influencers to help boost your brand efforts, the data does show that influencer marketing on Instagram can be highly effective – which is likely to become a larger focus for marketers in the next year.
Instagram’s also included a listing of the most popular filters of the year, with ‘Clarendon’ coming out on top.
The five most-used filters of 2017 were:
Meanwhile, the top Instagram Face Filters listing was lead, predictably, by the puppy dog - which is pretty much a direct copy of the same on Snapchat.
In fact animals took the top three face filter spots – why is it that we feel so inclined to see ourselves in animal form?
And also, if you’re interested, they’ve included a list of the most followed pets on the platform.
- jiffpom (@jiffpom) – Pomerian, US
- nala_cat (@nala_cat) – Cat, US
- Doug the Pug (@itsdougthepug) – Pug, US
- Marutaro (@marutaro) – Shiba Inu, JP
- Grumpy Cat (@realgrumpycat) – Cat, US
- Marnie the Dog (@marniethedog) – Shih Tzu, US
- Tuna (@tunameltsmyheart) – Chihuahua, US
- Juniper&Fig (@juniperfoxx) – Fox, US
- Lil BUB (@iamlilbub) – Cat, US
- Loki (@loki_the_wolfdog) – Husky, US
Those of you who were rooting for Lil BUB, maybe next year.
There’s more data in Instagram’s full report, including the most Instagrammed locations and most followed celebrities. As noted, most of it is of interest, as opposed to being insightful and providing data for your own strategy. But still, it’s worth making yourself aware of the larger trends, and considering what they mean for platform adoption and usage.
You can read Instagram’s full 2017 trends report here.