Demographics are a great way to break down a target audience, so I wanted to find out more about what the Instagram audience actually looks like. Who uses Instagram?
No reliable data – some sites say 68% of Instagram users are women, some say the ratio is closer to 51% female and 49% male. In your Instagram profile it does have you pick a gender, but it doesn’t display anywhere publicly. The real information has to be out there somewhere.
We know that 80% of Instagram users are outside of the United States because Instagram blogged about it and everyone references that blog post.
Based on a free report from Statista.com (sorry, I didn’t want to pay for the full report) as of September 2016, Instagram users break down like this:
- 20% of users are from the United States
- 8.84% of users are from Russia
- 5.43% of users are from Brazil
- 5.4% of users are from Turkey
- 3.97% of users are from the UK
- Presumably every other country is less than 3.97%
Based on the 600 million users number, we can extrapolate those percentages to both numbers of users, and how that relates to the population of the country as a whole. These 5 countries add up to 44% of total Instagram users, so we’re missing half the picture, but that means we have a lot of the big players since we’re assuming the other countries are less than 3% of Instagram users each.
- 37% of people in the US use it (120 million people)
- 36.7 % of people in Russia use it (53 million people)
- 15.7% of Brazilians use it (32.58 million people)
- 41% of Turkish people use it (32.4 million people)
- 36.5% of people in the UK use it (23.8 million people)
I’ll base the language ranking on both personal experience and on the country data from above.
- English: Not only are the US and UK in the top percentage of Instagram’s users, but people in other countries are often familiar enough with rudimentary english to use English hashtags – at least 1/4 of Instagram users understand and use English
- Russian: I studied Russian in school and look at Russian profiles so I didn’t realize this was actually a real trend until I looked up the country statistics.
- Spanish: Though Brazil is the only Spanish speaking country up there, there are a dozen other countries that use Spanish or Spanish variants as their main language. It’s possible that Spanish is actually #2, but from the data we have we can’t assume that.
- Turkish: 84% of people in Turkey speak Turkish
If you’re trying to expand your profile via hashtags, try looking at these four languages first for maximum exposure.
No one seems to have good, reliable, data on this. The closest I can find is an answer to this Quora question where in 2014 a guy looked at 915,1003 profiles and found that only 3% of them were private accounts (I’ve found other people who looked at similar data and got different results). Essentially this means that you don’t have to worry about not being able to reach your target audience, whoever they are, because their account is probably public.
According to a Pew report from 2015 that measures percentage of internet users who also use Instagram (so not the percentage of Instagram users itself)
- 55% (1 in 2) of internet users who also use Instagram are 18-29
- 28% (1 in 3-4ish) of internet users who also use Instagram are 30-49
- 11% (1 in 10) of internet users who also use Instagram are 50-64
- 4% (1 in 25) of internet users who also use Instagram are 65+
So you won’t be seeing a lot of AARP ads and your Aunt that comments on everything you post on Facebook probably won’t even know what Instagram is.
How many people does the average user have following them?
Once again turning to Quora the average number of followers seems to range between 190-250 in the past couple of years. So even if all you see on your news feed is people with tens of thousands of followers, that’s probably because you’re following popular people and brands, not average people.
How many people does the average user follow?
People are much less interested in looking at this statistic. Instagram sets a limit of 7,500 follows but I doubt people reach this limit very often. This report on a single user with 21k followers said that the median number of people who liked her account followed was 265 (the average was 800+ but I assume she also had a couple big brands following her). In my experience, if it’s a personal account with a normal human being (not looking to promote themselves, just taking pictures) – they’ll follow their friends which is 100-500 people. If someone follows more than 1000 people they’re likely looking for followers/are a brand.
Are there more statistics you want to know about Instagram users? Do you have more reliable statistics? Does someone want to pay for me to have access to all those sexy Statista.com stats? Please, let me know! I’d be happy to look into them or to add them here.