Just like the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words–or in this case, a few tweets. So seems to go the battle for mobile users in the social media space, particularly with Instagram vs. Twitter. New data for the month of August suggests that U.S.-based mobile phone users visited Instagram more often and spent more time on the social media platform than they spent on Twitter.
According to All Things Digital, through the month of August, Twitter had 6.9 million mobile daily active users while Instagram had about 7.3 million mobile daily active users for the same time period. Importantly, the average Instagram user spent about 257 minutes on the photo-sharing social media site, while over the same month the average Twitter user spent about 170 minutes on the site.
Interestingly, this is notwithstanding the fact that Twitter had about 29 million unique U.S.-based smartphone users in August and Instagram had just 22 million smartphone users visit its site in the same month. This means that even though Twitter had a larger number of mobile users access its site, Instagram users visited more frequently and spent more time on the site.
Pictures vs. Words: Instagram vs. Twitter
These figures shed an interesting light on the debate of how effective social media sites are as platforms to not only capture the interests of web audiences but sustain such interests over continuous periods of time. A number of major social media sites, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (to a lesser extent), are still facing challenges in their efforts to successfully monetize their sites through advertisements. One of the reasons for this is that traditional social network sites and their fast-paced nature of streams and timelines creates an environment that is not conducive for maximum user retention and engagement.
The rise of photo-sharing social media sites, on the other hand, seems to bring a different tide to user engagement. Instagram is only about two years old and already challenging established sites such as Twitter. Fellow photo-sharing social site Pinterest, which is also only about two years old, has become the fastest site in history to reach the 10 million visitor mark, according to TechCrunch.
As opposed to traditional social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter–which have a majority of text-based content that encourages users to rapidly scan through characters–photo-sharing sites are dominated by images, which necessitate a longer period of time to observe and understand. Photo content also reaffirms people’s age old fondness of and attraction to images. For online advertisers and brands, this data underscores the confluence of growing mobile web traffic and the rise of photo-sharing social networking sites. They both present an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on these platforms as a tool for expanding online presence.
Image Source: Instagram