Last week marked a major milestone for Instagram. The app passed 500 million users—and 300 million of those 500 million visit Instagram daily.
To put that into proportion, “500 million” equates to about seven percent of the world’s total population. It’s also larger than the population of the entire United States.
Instagram is proud to announce its users share “500 million windows to the world." The app is blossoming into a virtual space where everything from “the everyday and the epic, are always within reach.”
Instagram’s CEO has described Instagram as a “media destination,” a place where users can learn about what’s happening in the world as it happens. Although this perspective reflects the attitudes of many other platforms, too, Instagram’s growth is really soaring.
So, what can we learn from this?
Continue reading to discover some of the biggest takeaways from Instagram's milestone.
Making Your Message a “Window” Works
This one comes from Instagram’s CEO himself, but it’s just as relevant whenever we talk brand strategy. In short, Instagram makes news accessible and interesting. It's a destination for events and for interesting, colorful, purposeful posts.
So when you post something on Instagram, there should be some “news” attached to it. Only you can tell your brand’s story, so you should use the opportunity to make the ordinary, extraordinary. Be calculated, unique and deliberate.
This doesn’t only apply to the content you post on Instagram. Rather, Instagram’s business model operates on the premise of helping users show their important moments and, in doing so, makes them feel important.
The bottom line: work, plan and deliver purposefully.
Align Yourself with the Things You Care About, and You’ll Find an Audience
Instagram allows users to share what they care about by using visuals. The old cliché holds: a picture is worth a thousand words, and successful Instagram users post pictures and short phrases (hashtags) to capture others users’ interest.
This kind of straightforward approach has clearly received a positive reception, because Instagram is advancing significantly faster than Twitter. Another major competitor, Snapchat, has about 100 million users.
It seems like visuals really are the future of PR. As Instagram skyrockets in popularity, it will also continue to teach content-creators about how to marry interesting presentation with newsworthy content.
The bottom line: Instagram’s unique mode of storytelling isn’t going away anytime soon.
Everything Can't be News, but Make it Important
People not only want to share content that makes them feel important, but they want to see important content as well. For example, citizen journalism allows people to share breaking content at an impressively fast rate. Instagram is one such channel that makes citizen journalism possible (and it has been wildly successful).
An important takeaway from this, and Instagram’s aforementioned interest in making a channel that promotes content by and for people, is that news is important to people. You should make your news important to people. Show your audiences why they should care.
For example, content like infographics send a clear message and become popular for a reason. Content crafted with purpose will wield higher success rates. And from Instagram, we learn that news is best delivered succinctly and visually.
The bottom line: your communication matters, and with 500 million other users on the platform, you can bet you’re connected to a larger community. Use that (sometimes daunting) information wisely.