The Most Important Instagram Statistics to Know for 2021

The Most Important Instagram Statistics to Know for 2021

Are you looking for Instagram stats to guide your strategy in 2021?


Because the platform may be the fastest developing on all social media. And trust us: a lot has changed in 2020, which will ultimately affect how you approach the gram.

Below is an up-to-date list of Instagram stats to help you get the most out of the network in 2021.

Instagram user and usage statistics

Let’s start with a basic question: how many people are using Instagram?

Fun fact: Instagram has passed the 1 billion user mark worldwide when 2020 came to an end. This statistic is a huge milestone that apparently was only reserved for Facebook. She is proof of Instagram’s stamina. In fact, Instagram’s user growth has been constant and showing no sign of slowing down.

How many downloads does Instagram have compared to other social apps? According to Sensor Tower, Instagram was among the top five most downloaded apps in the App Store and on Google Play last year. The app had ~ 13 million downloads in the second quarter of 2020 alone. From January 2021, after TikTok, the app will be the second most important in terms of downloads in the App Store (occasionally sparring with Facebook).

Bar chart of the most downloaded apps in the US in Q2 2020

Now let’s look at some Instagram stats that shed some light on who is using the platform. Recent demographics on social media continue to point to a Predominantly female (34.3%) users who are younger than 34 years.

Although older users are still present, The platform is still largely dominated by Gen Z and Millennials. This is further driven by some recent Instagram statistics compiled by Statista.

Statistical bar chart with Instagram demographics by age and gender as of October 2020

Not only does Instagram appeal to the younger crowd, it’s also known for its rabid user base. A typical example: 63% of Americans say they check Instagram every day. Combine this data with research done in Australia The average Instagram user spends at least 7 hours a week on the platform.

The central theses

  • Instagram user growth has been steady and constant, especially among younger viewers.
  • Building on the point above, Instagram users are among the most engaged when it comes to how often they sign up.
  • The sheer number of app downloads shows how important mobile optimization is to your Instagram marketing strategy.

Instagram content statistics

The Instagram algorithm has triggered marketers in the past, and that trend looks set to continue into 2021.

Current Instagram statistics tell us that Organic engagement has decreased since 2020 and was 1.60%. According to RivalIQ, the average engagement rate is 1.22%. To make it short? Organic engagement is no longer what it used to be.

Rival IQ bar graph showing Instagram engagement rate across all industries

What types of content should brands prioritize to combat the phenomenon of reduced reach? Studies by Bannersnack prove this Carousel posts achieve the highest engagement rate (1.94%), followed by images (1.74%) and video postings (1.45%)..

Average engagement rates per carousel, picture, and video post on Instagram

This might come as a bit of a surprise as carousels are not talked about as much compared to roles or stories, for example.

Even so, video content is still booming. Interest in binge-watching content grew significantly amid the COVID-19 pandemic 70% of marketers want to increase their investment in video. This follows on Instagram Reels and the looming competition from TikTok.

Speaking of which TikTok (29%) is hardly supplanting Instagram (25%) as the preferred social platform for young people. In terms of content, expect Instagram to push the roles further. With Reels ads seemingly on the horizon, brands should consider duplicating their short video on both Instagram and TikTok instead of choosing between them.

Graphic featuring Gen Z / US Teen's most popular social platform, with Instagram being 25%

But the big story when it comes to our Instagram stats around content is stories.

According to Instagram itself, Stories are used by over 500 million people every day, and a third of the most viewed stories are from brands. Stories should remain a cornerstone of your content strategy, especially as they allow brands to skip the line in followers’ feeds rather than being constrained by the Instagram algorithm.

When we round up our Instagram content stats, that’s what we saw the best time to post is Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Posting at times when your audience is most likely busy should be standard practice. Planning tools like Sprout Social can help with this.

Heatmap with the best times to post on Instagram

The central theses

  • Stories, carousels, and short videos should be central to your content strategy.
  • With tough competition and so much content, even the smallest aspects of optimization count (think: timing, captions, bio).
  • When engagement rates drop, brands should consider adding Instagram ads to their content.

Instagram advertising statistics

Piggybacking on the Instagram stats above, social ads are becoming increasingly popular.

According to research by, an amazing one 50% of marketing teams spend half of their marketing budget on social ads. Specifically, 29% of marketers spend the majority of their advertising dollars on Instagram.

Graphic showing which platform has the most advertising spend;  Instagram is 29%

Merkle’s data shows how Instagram Stories ads have done particularly well for brands recently. Their research found that Stories ads generated 35% of impressions and 29% of total Instagram ad spend for brands third quarter of 2020. Also noteworthy is the fact that Stories ads, despite their recent growth, have a below average CPM.

Another fascinating Instagram statistic from the Merkle report shows how many companies place ads next to each other on Facebook and Instagram. Instagram accounted for 33% of Facebook ad spend and 36% of impressions for brands Launch of campaigns on both platforms.

Bar chart with Instagram and Facebook ad sharing by spend and impressions

A recent Socialbakers report highlights how much The cost per click (CPC) for Instagram Feed (~ 20% YoY) and Stories ads (~ 15% YoY) has decreased..

Bar chart showing cost per click by platform position with Instagram feed and stories on top and growing year after year

However, we can’t talk about Instagram stats without talking about influencers.

While there has been some skepticism about whether or not influencers would stand the test of time, the numbers don’t lie. According to Instagram 87% of people say that an influencer drove them to buy. You notice that too 70% of “shopping enthusiasts” turn to Instagram for product discovery.

Even if people aren’t buying directly from influencers, their impact on cementing Instagram as a mall cannot be denied. For those who buy from influencers, Standard image posts (78%) and stories (73%) are considered the most effective types of influencer content according to MediaKix.

The central theses

  • While not quite on par with Facebook’s popularity, Instagram’s ad platform is definitely growing.
  • With new ad types introduced every year, brands have more freedom than ever to campaign (which signals both challenges and opportunities).
  • Influencers still have staying power despite the rumble from critics both before and during the pandemic.

Instagram stats for brands

Finally, let’s take a look at some general Instagram stats brands should consider for 2021.

A frequently cited statistic that has increased year-on-year. 90% of people now follow a business on Instagram. The consistent rollout of new business features and shopping options for e-commerce retailers is evidence of how the platform is becoming more brand friendly.

Maybe this explains why Instagram is now the popular platform for the following brands. Not only does this show the ways to sell products on Instagram, it also provides customer service and support.

Bar chart showing social media usage to track brands, with Instagram topping all other social platforms at 36%.

Remember, however, that Instagram is no longer just a B2C network 46% of B2B content marketers have used organic Instagram in the past 12 months. Not quite as much as LinkedIn (95%) or Twitter (86%), but it’s still telling that Instagram is growing in popularity for B2B. For example, business influencers and SaaS marketers are slowly but surely putting their demands on the platform.

Pie charts show how B2B content marketers have used over the past 12 months

The central theses

  • Organic Instagram is valuable for both B2C and B2B brands to increase brand awareness.
  • More people than ever are following brands on Instagram to signal how the Facebook platform can compete in terms of shopping and advertising over the long term.
  • Even if Instagram doesn’t lead to direct sales, the network remains a key component of any social marketing funnel for educating and caring for customers.

What Instagram stats do you notice?

Listen: Instagram is a rapidly growing and constantly evolving network.

To get the most out of the platform, you need to know how to adapt. Hopefully the Instagram stats above can help you master the platform this year.

If you still need advice or inspiration on getting the most out of 2021, be sure to check out our latest guide on building your social media marketing strategy.