Is the increase in advertising decreasing organic engagement on Instagram?


By Gemma Browne

It’s no secret that brands, marketers and social media strategists can never be certain about what affect platform changes will have on consumers and their responsiveness to a platform.

When Facebook acquired the photo and video-sharing network, Instagram in 2012, there were many debates as to how this would increase the potential for businesses on the platform, or whether it would result in a decrease in the popularity of the once quite personal network.

With Instagram advertising now an easily accessible tool for brands, we are seeing a huge increase in the amount of ads appearing in our feeds, along with the amount of brands now including Instagram as a viable tool in their sales and marketing strategy. So as Facebook pushes Instagram to deliver return-on-investment, how is this influx in branded content affecting consumers’ relationship with the platform? More succinctly, what affect is advertising playing on consumer engagement?

According to social analytics and reporting company Locowise, while follower growth remains strong on Instagram, the post engagement rate is on the decline.

Findings from their January Instagram data included:

  • Follower growth remained strong. The January figure of 0.37 percent was up 60.87 percent from December and marked the highest growth since last August. Facebook only saw page like growth of 0.16 percent in January, while Twitter’s follower growth for the month was just 0.11 percent.
  • However, Instagram’s post engagement rate of 0.95 percent of total audience marked the lowest since Locowise began studying the network 10 months ago, and it was down 12.04 percent from December. Locowise said Instagram post engagement rate has fallen 66.07 percent over the past 10 months.

It’s definitely not all doom and gloom for Instagram and the brands utilising the platform. Instagram’s post engagement rate is still higher than those for Facebook and Twitter in January. As the competition grows and the ability to attract consumers’ attention becomes more difficult, now is a great opportunity to start thinking about strategic content creation, unique campaigns and looking closely at your target market’s needs, habits and interests

Get in touch with our team to find out how you can take your Instagram strategy to the next level.


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