It depends on who you ask! When doing research for this post, I Googled the above question and had to chuckle a little when these two top results popped up.
This led me to question the issue even further, with a little research into the statistics of the two social sharing sites.
The Numbers Behind Instagram
According to the last update, Instagram boasts 300 million monthly active users. There are an average of 70 million photos shared on the service every day, with those photos getting about 2.5 billion likes per day.
That’s a lot of love!
The blue bird the world is talking about, Twitter has about 302 million active users, with 500 million tweets per day.
The Question Everyone Is Wondering…
Is Instagram more influential than Twitter? Looking at the numbers, my immediate answer was, no, especially when I thought of the old adage, “numbers don’t lie.”
But then, upon further pondering, I realized something important. Even though there are 430 million more status updates on Twitter per day, the life of a tweet is very short-lived. Some experts say that the life of a single tweet is about eight minutes for the average user. If I scroll through my personal Instagram for eight minutes, however, I can go back as far as two days or more. Granted, I follow about 100 more users on Twitter than I do on Instagram, but the truth is there: a post lasts longer on Instagram. Even though there is no “retweet” feature on Instagram like there is on Twitter, if your account is public, users can visit the “following” tab to see what their friends have been liking, and users can tag their friends easily in the comment section of a photo that’s posted.
In addition, I’ve mentioned before in a blog post that your brain processes pictures at a rate of about 60,000 times faster than it can read a sentence.
If a tweet’s length is limited to 140 characters, and the average word in the English language is 5 characters, that means you’re able to fit about 20 words into a tweet (including spaces).
If a photo says 1,000 words, like the old saying, that means one Instagram post is able to say about 5,111 characters, not including anything you write below the photo.
That means that an Instagram post is able to say about 4,971 more characters than one tweet of 140 characters. That’s a lot!
Combine the fact that with a tweet (if it doesn’t include an image) is just words, but an Instagram photo is able to show off your company, whether it’s showing your fun personality, a quick 15 second tutorial, or one of your awesome products.
In conclusion, is Instagram more influential than Twitter? If you want to potentially reach more users, by using the appropriate hashtags, you’ll reach about the same amount of users on both platforms (considering the two are about 2 million users apart, but posts last a little longer on Instagram). If you want to create a visually compelling story for your company by showing off your product or brand, choose Instagram. Finally, if you want the best of both worlds, connect your Instagram account to Twitter and share the photos on both platforms. Thus you’ll gain reach and an inspired audience.