With Instagram having recently opened its platform to all advertisers, this week’s final Chart of the Day draws on data from our new GWI Social report to look at the ongoing battle between the photo-sharing site and Twitter.

Last year, Instagram claimed to have overtaken the micro-blog in terms of active users. But GWI’s latest data confirms that this still isn’t the case; Twitter remains ahead of Instagram in 29 of the 33 markets tracked (the exceptions being Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Sweden).

As is often the case, the problem here is that social networks use competing definitions of active usage. In our survey, where visitation and active usage are tracked in the same ways across all networks, we are much better positioned to show how networks compare to one another. While it’s certainly significant that Instagram has forged ahead in four markets, the fact that it lags in 29 of them shows the scale of the challenge that lies ahead if it wants to displace Twitter.

That said, there is better news for Instagram when we look at visitation rates by age. Twitter might be ahead in all groups, but the gap is very small among the key 16-24 group (where 42% have visited Twitter and 39% have been to Instagram). That the photo-sharing service is so popular among the youngest internet users is extremely encouraging for its future growth prospects.

For more of the latest social media trends, you can download a free summary of our GWI Social report here. Alternatively, clients can access the full version here.


Written by

Jason is Chief Research Officer at GWI. He's the main man who leads our global team of analysts, delivering world-renowned research. He's an in-demand data junkie who you might see popping up on your telly screens every so often to show you what's actually happening in the lives of consumers.

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