Instagram Is The New “Pay To Play” Platform

by • January 20, 2016 • InstagramComments Off on Instagram Is The New “Pay To Play” Platform8239

Instagram was one of the most engaging social platforms in 2015, but it is growing so fast that, it is becoming more and more difficult to get organic growth on it. In fact, organic growth and engagement have fallen a lot within 2015 and Instagram is heading towards becoming much more of a “pay-to-play” platform in 2016.

Also Read: 15 Quick And Easy Tips To Boost Engagement On Instagram

In it’s 2015 year in review, social analytics company Locowise, has concluded that Instagram’s engagement and organic growth is plummeting, and therefore organic growth alone won’t get you very far. The good news is that Instagram is still doing much better than Facebook and Twitter and that Instagram ads are now open to everyone to use through Facebook‘s self-serve ad system. The “so so” news is that brands will now have to cough up in order to be successful.

Locowise’s year in review concludes that,

If you want to achieve great growth on Instagram, you do need to consider alternative tactics. Organic growth will not get you far.

Let’s look at the numbers though. They are based on 2,500 profiles that were studied for the review.

In terms of follower growth, the numbers were 88.21% lower in December, at 0.23% – than they were in at their peak in April, at 1.95%. Growth on Facebook and Twitter, were 0.14% and 0.09% respectively, during the same time.


Engagement rate also peaked in April 2015 and was also the lowest in December. It posted a 61.43% drop from 2.8% in April to 1.08% in December. Again, Instagram was better than both Facebook and Twitter in terms of engagement, even during its lowest month of the year – In December, the other two platforms had a 0.37% and 0.1% engagement rate respectively.

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Instagram ads seem to be doing quite well though. Click-through rate on the platform is currently 1.5%. On Facebook is has been at most an average of 0.84%. Average CPM on Instagram ranges between $3 to $6.29 while video views are as cheap as $0.02 per view. Please do remember that exactly the same timeframe constitutes a view on both Facebook and Instagram – 3 seconds.

Finally, in term of content types, images still perform better than videos on Instagram. Photos received an average of 1.85% engagement rate versus 0.9% for videos.

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So, in light of the above, what should marketers do? Well, differentiate, for one. They should try to stand out by switching between image sizes and formats, and to see what people appreciate more. Also, they should try to also alternate between different content types. Use both video and images for example. It is my assessment that the gap in engagement between the two content types should be bridged pretty soon, and video will take a leap within 2016. Finally, request a budget for Instagram ads, and become familiar with advertising on the platform.

One should really be ahead of the trend in order to succeed!

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