Is Your Instagram Going Down?

A recent study conducted by Trust Insights reported that Instagram has been in decline since May, yet the reason seems to be unknown. What could be causing this downtrend we wonder?




The study took into account 1.4 million Instagram posts between the beginning of the year and mid-June, looking at the engagement rate, which it defines as total number of interactions, divided by the size of the Instagram accounts following them. Engagement rate was down 1.1% during the latter part of the period measured, dropping from 1.54% to 0.9%. The average number of interactions was also down by 18% compared with the beginning of the year – quite a significant amount and certainly unusual when looking back on previous annual patterns.

It would appear this decrease has affected both individual accounts and brand accounts, however the biggest influencers affected seem to those with a focus on fashion. Engagement rate for fashion influencers fell from 4.3% to 2.4% – almost half what it was.

The study hasn’t provided any clarity into the cause of the decline, noting that there haven’t been any and substantive API changes, however there is speculation among brand marketers that Instagram is following a similar pattern to Facebook. Facebook initially gave brands a wealth of organic reach, which later declined to such a degree, marketers had to turn to paid options to reach its target audience. Facebook’s justification for this was that its users preferred to see less brand based posts and more from their friends, and less from brands. Could Instagram be going the same way?

Whilst this theory certainly isn’t inconceivable, it doesn’t explain why influencers have been hit harder than brands in some cases, suggesting something else is at the root of this shake up.

I guess for now, it’s a case of ‘watch this space’. We will report more when we know.

Read more about the study here.

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