Instagram has come a long way since it started as a simple photo-sharing app back in 2010. Today, it stands shoulder to shoulder with Facebook and YouTube as one of the world‘s most powerful social media platforms. Just how big is Instagram in 2023? What are the latest usage and growth trends? Who‘s using Instagram and how? Let‘s explore what‘s happening on the ‘Gram today with an in-depth look at the platform‘s users and usage.
An Impressive Growth Trajectory
To start, let‘s look at the amazing growth trajectory Instagram has been on in recent years:
Launched in October 2010, the app hit 1 million users just 2 months later. Talk about explosive growth right out the gate!
By December 2014, Instagram had surpassed 300 million monthly active users.
In June 2018, Instagram announced it had passed 1 billion monthly actives – a true social media mega-platform!
Fast forward to September 2021, and Instagram sailed confidently past the 2 billion monthly user mark.
As of January 2023, Instagram has 2.3 billion monthly active users worldwide according to data from Statista. That‘s up from 2 billion at the start of 2022 – so user growth shows no signs of slowing down.
Here‘s a breakdown of how Instagram‘s worldwide user base has grown on a quarterly basis over the past 3 years:
|Quarter||Monthly Active Users|
|Q1 2020||1.37 billion|
|Q2 2020||1.52 billion|
|Q3 2020||1.63 billion|
|Q4 2020||1.76 billion|
|Q1 2021||1.83 billion|
|Q2 2021||1.89 billion|
|Q3 2021||2.01 billion|
|Q4 2021||2.15 billion|
|Q1 2022||2.21 billion|
|Q2 2022||2.27 billion|
|Q3 2022||2.34 billion|
|Q4 2022||2.35 billion|
Analysts predict Instagram will hit 2.5 billion monthly active users in 2023. That‘s around 1 in 3 people on the planet who will use Instagram this year!
Who‘s Using Instagram Today?
Given Instagram‘s focus on visual sharing, it‘s no surprise the platform sees high usage among young people. Users aged 18-29 make up Instagram‘s core demographics.
However, the app has also steadily increased adoption in older demographics. Today you can find millennials, parents, even grandparents scrolling through their feeds.
Based on a 2022 GlobalWebIndex report, here is the breakdown of Instagram users globally by age group:
- Age 13-17: 8% of users
- Age 18-24: 30.8% of users
- Age 25-34: 30.3% of users
- Age 35-44: 15.7% of users
- Age 45-54: 8.4% of users
- Age 55-64: 4.3% of users
- Age 65+: 2.6% of users
So about 60% of users are under 34, but all age groups are represented on the platform.
There‘s a roughly equal gender split, with women making up 51.2% of users compared to 48.8% men according to 2021 data.
Geographically, 43% of users are from the United States or Europe. But Instagram has huge audiences worldwide, especially in India, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, and beyond.
Here are the top 10 countries ranked by number of Instagram users as of January 2023 according to DataReportal:
- India – 229 million
- United States – 143 million
- Brazil – 114 million
- Indonesia – 89 million
- Turkey – 49 million
- Japan – 46 million
- Mexico – 37 million
- United Kingdom – 29 million
- Saudi Arabia – 28 million
- Philippines – 28 million
Scrolling, Posting, Sharing: How People Use Instagram
So who uses Instagram? Pretty much everyone. But how do they use it?
While Instagram offers a diverse range of features today, posting photos and browsing the visual feed remain core to the experience.
Recent surveys suggest the average Instagram user spends around 30 minutes per day on the app. During these daily sessions they:
- Scroll through their main feed, primarily watching Stories and Reels videos
- Like and comment on posts from friends, creators, brands and hashtags they follow
- Post their own photos and videos to their profile grid and Stories
- Send direct messages and participate in group chats
- Watch IGTV long-form vertical videos
- Browse Explore page for entertainment and Inspiration
- Create reels and go live using features like questions and music
- Shop from brands using integrated checkout
- Use AR filters to enhance selfies and other photos/videos
This wide range of engaging activities keeps bringing users back day after day.
Over 500 million Instagrammers now log in and scroll their feeds on a daily basis. And Instagram Stories alone sees over 300 million daily active users viewing ephemeral photos and videos.
Battle of the Social Media Titans
While Instagram started as the underdog in the social media world, it has grown into a true titan standing shoulder-to-shoulder with platforms like Facebook and YouTube.
Let‘s look at how Instagram compares to other top social networks based on monthly active users (MAUs) as of January 2023 according to DataReportal:
- Facebook: 2.96 billion MAUs
- YouTube: 2.51 billion MAUs
- WhatsApp: 2 billion MAUs
- Instagram: 2 billion MAUs
- WeChat: 1.31 billion MAUs
- TikTok: 1.05 billion MAUs
Along with WhatsApp, Instagram takes third place worldwide – ahead of WeChat and the fast-growing TikTok.
And when it comes to engagement, Instagram even outperforms Facebook in some metrics like interactions and reach. This makes the app hugely appealing for brands and creators.
What Does the Future Hold for Instagram?
Given its meteoric rise, amazing engagement, and constant evolution of features, Instagram‘s future looks bright.
We can expect continued steady user growth, likely hitting 2.5 billion MAUs in 2023. Instagram will also probably continue replicating the best ideas from competitors like TikTok. More augmented reality, more short-form video content, and new ways to shop and interact with brands.
Data privacy and mental health concerns may present Instagram with challenges to overcome. But for now, the platform shows no signs of stopping its relentless growth.
One thing‘s for sure – Instagram has come a long way from its photo filter roots. Today it remains a vibrant online community where billions connect through the power of visual communication. Wherever the future takes Instagram, it‘s sure to remain a dominant force in social media for years to come.