Instagram surpasses Twitter’s web footprint
According to recent analysis, Instagram has overtaken Twitter in terms of the number of sites featuring its posts and widgets. Online tool provider SimilarTech made the discovery after looking at the web’s top one million sites based on their global traffic, including publishers, brands, and e-commerce.
At the start of 2016, there were more sites featuring Twitter’s social widgets and embedded user posts than Instagram. However, from January through December, Instagram enjoyed a substantial spike in prevalence, expanding its footprint by 308 per cent to overtake Twitter and its comparatively measly 38 per cent growth.
The reason why Instagram is overtaking Twitter
It remains unclear as to why so many sites are starting to favour Instagram over Twitter. The ability to embed Instagram posts on websites is nothing new, as it was introduced back in July 2013. Furthermore, it rolled out follow buttons and badges in November 2012.
However, Instagram’s monthly user base has grown from 400 million people in September 2015 to 600 million in December 2016. Even so, this doesn’t explain why the number of sites featuring Instagram posts and widgets jumped by 77 per cent month over month from May 2016 onwards.
One suggestion is that it had something to do with Instagram’s adoption of an algorithmic feed, which ranks posts according to individual user interest, rather than a reverse-chorological one. At the time, this was greeted with criticism from both marketers and the app’s users.
So, there is a chance that brands and marketers started embedding Instagram posts on their own sites for fear they wouldn’t be seen on the app itself. The uptake of buttons and badges may also be because businesses wanted more users to follow them on Instagram.
Experts in social media strategy Marketing Essex commented: “As you would expect, the brute strength of social media has not gone unnoticed by the world of marketing. Several brands and businesses are now competing for the same exposure in a hotly contested environment.”
“While each social sphere serves different purposes, they can be successfully leveraged by any company to deliver online success.”
It is still worth noting that Instagram announced its algorithm change in 2016 and only managed a web footprint increase of one per cent the following month. When the algorithm was finally introduced in June 2016, adoption grew by 27 per cent, down from the previous month’s 77 per cent spike.