Instagram User Growth Drops to Lower Levels Than Previously Expected

According to a new report, Instagram’s user growth has dropped to single digit percentages for the first time.

Data published by eMarketer shows Instagram’s user base grew by 6.7% in 2019, which is down from 10.1% growth in 2018. Starting in 2020, eMarketer estimates Instagram will grow slower than what was previously expected.

“Growth will be at 4.5% in 2020, revised down from 5.4%, and in 2021, it will be 3.2% instead of 4.1%. Contributing to Instagram’s overall slower growth is the fact that older age groups are not joining the platform as quickly as anticipated.”

In addition to older age groups not joining Instagram, eMarketer attributed the slower-than-expected user growth to increased competition from Snapchat and TikTok.

One area where Instagram is seeing larger-than-expected gains is in US users ages 25 to 34. However, growth among this demographic is not expected to change substantially in the coming years.

While none of this is overwhelming positive, Instagram is ultimately expected to maintain its position as the second-most used social media platform in the US behind Facebook.

Slow user growth is not expected to impact ad revenue, as eMarketer estimates ad revenues will continue to grow at high double-digit rates.

“We expect the social media platform to generate $9.45 billion in ad revenues in 2019, and grow 46.6% to $13.86 billion in 2020. Newly introduced ads in different parts of the app, like the “Discover” tab, open up more inventory for advertisers. Shoppable ads are currently in beta on the platform, but we expect that they will play a major role in future growth.”

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About the Author: Matt Southern

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt has an uncanny ability to make the most complex subject matter easy to understand. When he’s not ferociously following and covering the search industry, he’s busy writing SEO-friendly copy that converts.