According to the latest comScore report, Instagram was a bigger mobile drawn than Twitter was during the month of August. AllThingsD reports that smartphone users visited Instagram more often and for longer periods of time that they did Twitter.
The report says that during August, Instagram had an average of 7.3 million daily active users (DAUs), while Twitter had approximately 6.9 million DAUs. What’s more, the average Instagrammer spent 257 minutes on the mobile app, while the average Twitter user spent 169.9 minutes on the platform’s mobile version.
The news is simultaneously surprising and completely not. Twitter is a social media veteran with an app that’s been around for years. It’s not like mobile hasn’t been good to Twitter, and it’s received positive reports for its smartphone-friendly ad scheme. But Instagram has had an almost magical, inexplicable rise to the top of the social networking sphere: Its user numbers are on an unstoppable ascent, its updates are nearly universally lauded (something Facebook and Twitter can’t really relate to), and people genuinely love the platform. It’s not a utility we’re overly invested in and using for that reason only — people really, truly, honestly gravitate toward it and that type of engagement is hard to manufacture. The mobile numbers clearly prove as much.
So while Twitter might be able to brag about its mobile ad reach, Facebook has an incredible value in Instagram. It’s currently not being utilized for marketing or brand-pushing services, but this report clearly means that there’s potential to leverage the eyeballs and time spent on Instagram – something users will be horrified to hear even suggested. Since day one of the acquisition, both Instagram and Facebook have said the proprietary Instagram app will be allowed to grow and exist independently, but you have to expect that the social network is aware of the photo sharing platform’s appeal, and is mulling over how to both keep users happy and benefit from the reach.