Well that’s what I’m about to tell you…
But firstly, let me put some things into perspective for you. According to backlinko, 49.03% of the worlds entire population uses social media. That basically means that half of the people in the world right now are using it. That’s a lot of people. That’s 3.81 billion people to be exact!
It’s not all just Instagram and Facebook though. These days there are multiple social media platforms for us to play on since those big conglomerate companies won’t stop competing against one another for a slice of that sweet money pie. Other popular platforms include Twitter, TikTok and WhatsApp, amongst a multitude of others, all fighting for that top spot, that prime position. So, which one wins the title?! I hear you cry.
Well, in 2019 Our World in Data reported that Facebook has dominated the social media market for a decade with 2.3 billion users, whilst Instagram came in third place with closer to 1 billion users (YouTube was second place with 1.9 billion users). So, competition over! It is obvious to see there’s been a landslide victory and Facebook is the clear winner, yes? No. Not really.
Whilst Facebook is better for visibility because of the sheer volume of users, Instagram tops the charts when it comes to engagement. According to Dreamgrow, on an average day, Instagram users share more than 95 million photos and videos and these posts yield a total of about 4.2 billion likes in a single day.
As you might have gathered there is no simple answer here, so let’s take a look at them both in a bit more depth to make a more informed decision.
Instagram – What have you got to offer?
Instagram has new features released more regularly than other social media platforms. This way they can keep everything on trend and relevant, which is a major reason they have a continual increase in their user numbers and engagement.
They have more than 1 billion active users on a monthly basis and have around 500 million daily active users. They also have an incredible global reach with 80% of all users being outside the U.S. This is perfect for businesses to be able to boost their visibility and, just by being there, have access to 1 billion potential advertisers. It has been said that 90% of users on the platform follow at least one business, which suggests their users are keen on hearing about brands etc.
There was a study in 2015 by Forrester on how social media users engage with the top 50 global brands. Throughout their study they looked at more than 2,400 posts and monitored the interactions of 11.8 million users to collect their data. The result was that users interacted with brands via Instagram more than any other social network.
It isn’t much of a surprise then that the platform has seen a huge rise in advertising revenue. In 2018, advertising revenue was $23.66 billion and rose to $28.52 billion by 2019. It is estimated that by the end of 2020 it will have risen again to $33.7 billion. Those are some big numbers!
Aside from boasting the highest engagement rates on any social media platform, Instagram also drives highly engaged visitors to company websites. It is reported that visitors from Instagram stay 45% longer than visitors from Facebook and 40% longer than visitors from Twitter.
As a business your choice of social media platform would depend largely on your target demographic. A study by Pew Research found that Instagram has more female users than male and that more than half of all active users are aged 34 and under.
Also, it turns out that despite being a popular place to post indulgent selfies, pictures of our dinner and/or our dogs, videos seem to do much better than images when it comes to interactions, with videos have a whopping 49% more than image posts.
Facebook – What have you got to offer?
Although Facebook’s original mission was to help people stay in touch with friends and family, it now also helps companies reach customers through advertising. 66% of users say they like or follow a brand on the platform. It remains the most used platform among both marketers and consumers.
Facebook is the number one social media platform when it comes to reach, so if what you’re looking to increase is visibility alone, then it wins hands down. However, in terms of audience engagement, Facebook doesn’t do as well as Instagram, but it does come a respectable second.
Advertising revenue does very well on Facebook, so it is no wonder that 89% of marketers use it in their brand marketing efforts. According to Dreamgrow, a study found that ads on Facebook perform much better than regular web ads and it is suggested that each of their 2.3 billion users is worth $14.17 in advertising revenue.
Similarly to Instagram, Facebook is more popular amongst women than it is amongst men. However, Facebook seems to attract users of all ages, in comparison to Instagram which attracts a much younger demographic. This suggests that Facebook would be the more effective platform in reaching users across all age groups.
So, which one is the best? Well, as you can see, it depends on what you want to use it for. Where Facebook will have the ability to get your content seen by more people than any other platform, Instagram is more likely to guarantee engagement with your content. If you are interested in attracting a younger demographic then Instagram would be the place for you, but if you want to attract a wider age range then Facebook would be your best bet. But if you were to ask me which of them I would go with, I would say cover all bases and get both. Everybody likes a win-win situation.