TikTok may be the trending app of the moment, but Instagram usage is still growing, especially in India, where TikTok is still banned, and Instagram Reels has taken its place as a key video platform of choice.
That’s according to the latest data from Sensor Tower, which has published its Q4 2021 app performance tracking report, which shows that Instagram had its best quarter for downloads since 2014, with app installs rising 10% over Q3.
As you can see here, TikTok, which has led the download charts for the past two years running, was still in high demand, but Instagram saw a big boost on Android, which was largely led by Indian users.
As per this chart, 39% of Instagram’s downloads in Q4 came from India, where Meta has been pushing Instagram as the best alternative for TikTok, which, at one stage, had more than 200 million Indian users, before it was banned by the Indian Government due a border dispute with China.
The growth of Instagram in India offers new opportunities in a key growth market for Meta. The company has been working to build its presence in the region for years, and tap into the nation’s 1.4 billion people, which is now the second-largest smartphone market in the world, trailing only China.
India’s digital transition is still in a relatively early phase, and if Meta can get in now, it stands to glean significant benefit from that presence, and Instagram now looks to be providing a key connector to its various offerings, including business discovery, eCommerce, and more.
And it also helps to boost Instagram’s overall numbers, as TikTok continues to rival the app for young user attention – though it is also worth noting that TikTok was still the most downloaded app on iOS by a long way.
From a digital marketing perspective, that means that despite Instagram’s overall growth, TikTok is still likely the key app of focus for young users in your region. But it is worth noting Instagram’s continued rise, which could eventually see more developmental focus on the Indian market, and creating products and features aligned with Indian use.
For the full year, TikTok led the way in global downloads across both app stores, with Facebook and Instagram taking the second and third spots respectively.
Clearly, TikTok has a strong hold on user attention, but don’t let that fool you into writing off IG just yet, which could still reclaim the overall top spot for young audiences moving forward.
You can download Sensor Tower’s Q4 app performance report here.
YouTube Shares the Top Creators, Clips and Ads of 2022
YouTube’s has published its listing of the top trending videos and creators of 2022, which provides an interesting overview of the year that was in online entertainment.
Starting with the most viewed clips, the top video was posted by gaming legend Technoblade, in which his father shares Technoblade’s farewell message that he composed before passing away due to cancer.
Technoblade’s final upload has been viewed over 87 million times, which is a testament to the influence the creator had within the broader gaming community.
The second most viewed clip was Will Smith’s infamous confrontation with Chris Rock at the Oscars, followed by another gaming streamer, Dream, and his face reveal clip.
The influence of gaming on online culture is once again on display in YouTube’s top performers, with several of the top channels and clips having links to gaming trends.
Prank videos are also prominent, which is a potentially more concerning trend, with some pushing the boundaries and leading to harm, while the Super Bowl halftime show also makes the top 10 list.
In terms of creators, it comes as little surprise to see MrBeast topping the list:
US Top Creators
- MrBeast (114M subs)
- NichLmao (18.7 subs)
- Airrack (10.7M subs)
- Ryan Trahan (11.1M subs)
- Isaiah Photo (8M subs)
- Brent Rivera (22.3M subs)
- Dan Rhodes (18.8M subs)
- Luke Davidson (9.31M subs)
- CoryxKenshin (15M subs)
- Ian Boggs (8.07M subs)
Jimmy Donaldson has become YouTube’s biggest success story, overtaking PewDiePie to become the most subscribed creator, and parlaying his YouTube success into various other business streams, including BeastBurger restaurants, Feastables chocolate bars and more. Donaldson has even outlined his longer-term plan to run for President. Which is probably not a genuine target, but then again…
YouTube has also provided a listing of Breakout Creators for the year, which includes various Shorts-focused stars.
- NichLmao (18.7 subs)
- Airrack (10.7M subs)
- Jooj Natu ENG (6.03M subs)
- Shangerdanger (4.03M subs)
- David The Baker (2.47M subs)
- Kat (5.2M subs)
- Dayta (4.39M subs)
- Devin Caherly Shorts (3.61M subs)
- MDMotivator (4.17M subs)
- Charles Brockman III (TheOnly CB3) (2.41M subs)
As noted, it’s an interesting overview of the year that was, though from a creative perspective, it’s hard to take many hints from what these top stars are doing and apply it to your own approach.
MrBeast generates most of his viral traction by undertaking ridiculously expensive stunts, while gaming creators are obviously gaming-focused, which is not overly helpful in determining the next big trends.
The majority of the top creators focus on big challenges, like surviving on 1c per day, or living in the Metaverse for 24 hours.
I guess, if you were looking to tap into such, that would be the key lesson, big-time challenges and grandiose projects that generate viral traction through people sharing the clips with their friends.
YouTube’s also shared the top-performing ads of the year:
Global Top Ads
- Amazon (US)
- Telecom Egypt (Egypt)
- Clash of Clans (US)
- Apple (US)
- Hyundai Worldwide (US)
- Imagine Your Korea (Korea)
- HBO Max (US)
- Netflix (US)
- Chevrolet Brasil (Brazil)
- Squarespace (US)
That provides some more specific perspective for marketers, with examples of how other brands are generating traction with their promotional clips – though most of them are celebrity-led, big-budget productions, so again, there’s not a heap for smaller creators to necessarily take from these trends.
I mean, two of the top ten ads feature K-pop megaband BTS, while others have stars like Scarlett Johannsson and Zendaya.
But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that creativity can’t win out.
This ad from Telecom Egypt, second on the above list, uses bright colors and music to sell the brand message.
And really, if you need creative inspiration, you can check out YouTube Shorts and TikTok to see the latest trends that top creators are leaning into with their video approach.
Overall, it’s an interesting perspective on the year, which may help to guide you towards the top stars in the app. But maybe not overly instructive for your own creative approach.
You can check out YouTube’s 2022 year in review here.