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Instagram Sees Boost in Download Numbers as Usage Grows in India

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Instagram Sees Boost in Download Numbers as Usage Grows in India


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.

Sensor Tower Q4 2021 report

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.

Sensor Tower Q4 2021 report

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.

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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.
 



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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

As it works to latch onto the short-form video trend, and negate the rising influence of TikTok, Meta has announced some new updates for Reels, across both Facebook and Instagram, including additional Reels insights, the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker, and ‘auto-created’ Reels clips. Yes, automatically created Reels videos.

Here’s how the new additions work.

The main addition is the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker from Stories to Reels, providing another way to prompt engagement from other users via Reels clips.

As you can see in these example images, you’ll now be able to post ‘Add Yours’ questions via Reels clips, while you’ll also be able to view all the various video responses to any prompt in each app.

It could be another way to spark engagement, and lean into the more interactive ethos of the short form video trend. Part of the appeal of TikTok is that it invites people in, with the participatory nature of the app essentially expanding meme engagement, by making it more accessible for users to add their own take.

Meta will be hoping that the ‘Add Yours’ sticker helps to facilitate the same, prompting more engagement with Reels clips.

Next up is auto-created Facebook Reels, which, as it sounds, will enable users to automatically convert their archived Stories into Reels clips.

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Reels updates

As you can see here, you’ll soon see a new ‘Create from Your Story Archive’ prompt in the Reels creation flow, which will then enable you to convert your Stories into Reels clips.

So it’s not exactly wholly automated Reels creation, as it’s just flipping your Stories clips into Reels as well. But it could provide another, simple way for users and brands to create Stories content, utilizing the video assets that they already have to link into the trend.

Worth noting that Meta also recently added a tool to convert your video assets into Reels within Creator Studio.

Meta’s also expanding access to its ‘Stars’ creator donations to Facebook Reels, which is now being opened up to all eligible creators.

Stars donations in Reels

Meta initially announced the coming expansion of Stars to Reels back in June, which will provide another critical monetization pathway for Reels creators. Short form video is not as directly monetizable as longer clips, where you can insert pre and mid-roll adds, so add-on elements like this are key to keeping creators posting, and fueling an ecosystem for such in its apps.

Stars on Reels will be available all creators that have maintained at least 1,000 followers over the last 60 days.

Meta’s also adding new Reels performance insights to Creator Studio, including Reach, Minutes Viewed, and Average Watch Time.

Reels updates

That’ll provide more perspective on what’s working, and what’s not, to help optimize your Reels approach – which could be especially valuable in the coming holiday push.

Lastly, Meta’s also expanding some Reels features that were previously only available in Instagram to Facebook as well.

Crossposting from Instagram to Facebook is now available to all Instagram users, while Meta’s also expanding its Remix option to Facebook Reels also.

Reels updates

As noted, Reels has become a key focus for Meta, as the short-form video trend continues to gain traction, and TikTok continues to rise as a potential competitor. By replicating TikTok’s main elements, Meta’s working to negate its key differentiation, which could ensure that more of its users don’t bother downloading a new app, and just stick with its platforms instead.’

Which, whether you agree with that approach or not, has proven effective. Reels content now makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video content, overall, makes up 50% of the time that people spend on Facebook.

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Meta additionally notes that it’s seen a more than 30% increase in engagement time with Reels across both Facebook and Instagram.

Meta doesn’t need to ‘beat’ TikTok as such (as much as it would like to), but it does need to dilute its significance if it can, and make it less appealing for users to have to start yet another new account, and re-build their friends list.

That’s why it’ll continue to replicate TikTok at every turn, because millions of people are currently not going to TikTok because of the presence of Reels in its apps.  

You can learn more about Meta’s new Reels updates here.

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