Last Updated: July 6, 2021
Instagram Stories are massive. Everyone who’s anyone loves them. Top apparel brands like Adidas, hugely popular sports teams like the New England Patriots, and leading media outlets like CNN all use Stories on a regular basis. But what makes them so popular?
At TechJury, we’ve compiled the most telling Instagram Stories statistics and fascinating facts to give you an idea of why Instagram Stories are the talk of the town in 2021.
Still not convinced? Here’s the deal.
Influencing Instagram Stories Statistics
- There are over 500 million active daily Instagram Stories users.
- 70% of Instagram users watch stories daily.
- Instagram has 398 million followers.
- 86.6% of Instagram users post Stories.
- Instagram Stories are used by 36% of businesses to promote their products.
- 93% of surveyed US marketers planned to post Instagram Stories more often in the future.
- 25% of Gen Z and Millennials use stories to find products and services.
Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for these last couple of years:
What Is an Instagram Story?
Introduced in August 2016, Instagram Stories is a feature that lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. It proved extremely popular with users straight away, boasting 200 million active daily users as early as April 2017. That was just the beginning.
This is crazy:
Instagram Stories had 400 million daily users – twice as many as Snapchat Stories – even though Snapchat had pioneered the feature! Another 100 million daily users jumped on the bandwagon in the next six months. How’s that for Snapchat vs Instagram Stories statistics?
You don’t need an advanced degree in marketing from an Ivy League university to figure out why that is—these stories catch on like wildfire. It’s no surprise businesses and influencers have been quick to make Instagram Stories ads a central aspect of their marketing strategies.
But how do you measure how engaging your Instagram Stories are? Actually, it’s kind of easy when you think about it.
Instagram Stories Analytics
Instagram Stories have the following engagement metrics, which allow you to understand how viewers interact with each Story you post:
- Taps Forward: This metric tracks how many times viewers have tapped to the right, skipping the current Story to see the next one.
- Taps Backward: This metric tracks how many times viewers have tapped to the left to watch the previous video in the Story sequence.
- Exits: This metric tracks how many times viewers have “swiped down” on the Story to exit the Stories feed.
- Replies: This metric, based on the Instagram swipe up feature, tracks how many times viewers “swipe up” to comment directly on the Story or navigate to the content linked to in a story, such as a website. Bear in mind that replies are the elusive unicorn of Stories – the average brand got a reply from just 0.00016% of viewers in 2018!
In addition to keeping an eye on these four indicators, you need to pay special attention to two other vital metrics:
- Reach: This metric tracks how many different accounts have watched the Story. The larger the number of unique accounts you can reach, the greater your brand exposure. We’ll show you some average reach rates across different business sectors in a minute.
- Impressions: What are Instagram Impressions? This metric tracks how many views, including rewatches, the Story has had. Basically, it shows the total number of views. If you post interesting or funny content, viewers are likely to want to see your Stories more than once.
These are the essential indicators you should be aware of. There’s actually a bit more to it, but let’s not get bogged down in details. If analytics are your thing, check out the in-depth guide on Insights on Instagram which the guys over at Later have prepared.
OK, that’s enough technical stuff for now. Let’s move on to the latest data from 2021.
Impressive Instagram Stories Statistics for 2021
Are people still watching Insta stories in 2021? Well:
1. 86.6% of Instagram users post Stories.
Instagram stories usage statistics show that nearly all users are posting Stories. 36.6% like watching Stories. 63.4% of users prefer normal posts.
2. 60% of Millennials either post or watch Instagram stories.
Instagram stories user statistics indicate that millennials prefer Instagram stories compared to other story formats on other platforms. In fact, 60% of them use Instagram stories. Snapchat and Facebook are less popular in this regard at 53% and 48% respectively.
3. Instagram Stories are used by 36% of businesses to promote their products.
(Source: Pancake Digital Solutions)
Therefore, according to Instagram stories for business statistics, this means stories are most commonly used by businesses. This is followed by ‘inside look’ which is the second most frequently used Insta story at 22% and gives users a quick preview of a piece of content outside Instagram. On top of that, you’ll be amazed at how much businesses spend on influencer marketing!
4. Snapchat vs. Instagram? Please. Snapchat only has 280 million daily users.
(Source: CNBC, Backlinko)
According to Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories statistics, IG has almost twice as many daily users as Snapchat. In other words, Snapchat only has about 280 million users per day, while Instagram has half a billion users every day.
5. The reach rate of posts between 13% and 27% compared to 2% and 9% of stories.
(Source: Rival IQ)
In short, this means that the reach of posts on Instagram is much greater than stories, according to Instagram stories vs feed statistics. What we will say, however, is that as the number of followers increase, the difference between reach in posts and stories lowers. This is based on the fact that brands with over 200k followers saw the largest drop in reach rate of about 45%.
6. Businesses are responsible for creating one-third of the most viewed stories.
Statistics on Instagram stories claim that one-third of the most viewed stories are ones posted by businesses themselves.
7. The best-performing story ads tend to be 1.3 seconds shorter per scene than lower-performing ads.
(Source: Embed Social)
Or to be exact, 2.8 seconds per scene rather than 4.1 seconds for the poorer performing ads, as suggested by Instagram story ad statistics. In other words, for a really effective story ad, just break down your longer video into many shorter scenes. You’ll still be able to showcase a complex story while retaining your audience’s interest.
8. Instagram stories are viewed by 70% of Gen Z.
Instagram story views statistics tell us that 59% of Millennials watch Instagram stories. Interestingly, Snapchat is considered slightly more popular with Gen Z users, of whom, 72% watch stories there.
9. One-quarter of Gen Z and Millennials use stories to find products and services to purchase.
(Source: Ad Espresso)
Although you might have considered Instagram stories as being most popular for connecting with friends or family or discovering new content, it is, in fact, used by 25% of millennials and Gen Z to look at products or services. At least this is what Instagram stories statistics in 2020 told us.
10. In branded stories, between 15% and 25% of people swipe the links.
(Source: Marketing for Greatness)
Instagram users seem to be responding well to the feature built into stories which allows them to visit a site by swiping up. So much that between 15% and 25% of users actually access the link, based on Instagram stories stats in 2020.
General Instagram Stories Statistics
We’ve already mentioned the mind-boggling growth of Instagram Stories. These fascinating facts will give you a clearer picture.
11. Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users.
(Source: Backlinko, Statista)
Instagram has experienced phenomenal growth since it was launched for iOS in October 2010. It took a while to get going, with only 90 million active users worldwide in January 2013. Then things took off, with 500 million in June 2016 and 800 million in September 2017. It has continued to grow since and now caters to one billion monthly active users.
12. There are 500 million daily active Instagram Story users.
(Source: Backlinko, Statista)
Instagram Stories were introduced in August 2016 to compete with Snapchat Stories and quickly proved popular. According to Instagram Stories statistics, they already had 200 million active daily users by April 2017, and the figure had doubled to 400 million in January 2018.
13. Over 50% of businesses on Instagram produce an Instagram Story.
Instagram Stories allow businesses to deliver live, timely content. Behind-the-scenes content is especially popular with potential customers, as are takeovers by influencers, company employees, and celebrities.
14. The best time to post to Instagram Stories in the US is between 4 am and 6 am Eastern Time (EST).
This should be the case regardless of where in the world you are. People usually have more time to see Instagram Stories before work, during their lunch break, and in the evenings after work. Posting early in the morning, around lunch time (12pm – 2pm) or later in the evening (8pm-10pm) will give your Stories an extra boost.
15. The age group with the least Instagram users is 65+.
Instagram appears to have a wider following from young adults between 25 to 34 years. However, over 65s still have a representation of 2.1%.
16. Instagram had 95 million fake profiles in 2020.
Insights on Instagram reveal that it had close to 100 million bots masquerading as real users in 2020. The bots cost companies upwards of $1.3 billion each year!
Instagram Stories Usage Statistics
Here we’ll flesh out Stories a bit more and zoom in on some of the more important recent trends. We’ll also take a look at how businesses use them and where they might fit into their social marketing strategy. So, these next few stats will tell you all about Instagram Stories.
17. In 2018, Stories represented 24.92% of all content on Instagram.
Single-image posts – the original Instagram content type – remained the most common, as 50.17% of all posts were of this type. Multiple-image posts and videos made up the rest.
18. Around 30% of Story activity includes just one frame per day in 2020.
(Source: Rival IQ)
Some days, brands only post a single frame on stories in 2020. Only two in ten stories had seven frames, while less than 10% had more than 12 frames.
19. On average, brands lose about 20% of their audience before the second frame.
(Source: Rival IQ)
This is why you need a cracking opening frame. Chances are you’ll still lose some of your viewers, but you’ll have a much healthier bottom line when you grab their attention from the very beginning. But how long should your Story be?
20. The average number of frames per day on Instagram in 2020 was three.
(Source: Rival IQ)
The median in 2018 was 7.6 frames. The average frames for Instagram in 2020 had reduced by 4.6.
However, brands shouldn’t worry too much about the number that they put out every day. Instead, they should focus on quality. One eye-catching frame could do more than hundreds of bad ones.
21. 68% of millennials in the UK have viewed Stories on Instagram, higher than on any other platform.
(Source: Digiday UK)
Snapchat, which pioneered the format, came a distant second with 49%. Facebook was third with 44%. Clearly, Instagram is the most popular platform for Stories, and millennials are leading the way.
You’re probably wondering:
How does that compare with Instagram demographics in 2019?
22. About 33% of the IG population is between 25 to 34 years.
Over 30% of Instagrammers belong to the 25 to 34 peer group. That’s 16.9% for the gentlemen and 16.1% for the ladies. The second age group is between 18 to 24 years, with 29.8%, followed by the 35-44 year-olds with 16%.
23. One in three daily Instagrammers said they had become more interested in a product they had seen on Stories.
When crafted skillfully, Stories can give users a unique perspective on most brands. Clearly, plenty of users appreciate the sneak peek into products and the more personal touch, which Stories often provide.
24. Instagram account statistics show one out of three of the most-viewed Instagram Stories in 2018 originated from business accounts.
This is a pretty surprising stat at firs0t glance. Wouldn’t you rather watch your favorite celebrities’ Stories? It turns out that’s not necessarily the case. With 80% of Instagrammers following at least one business, more and more brands are using well-crafted Stories to successfully compete for viewers’ attention.
25. 70% of Instagram Stories are watched with the sound on.
Given that you have to manually turn on the sound, that people tend to see Instagram stories this way is quite impressive. Not everyone uses sound on their Stories, but why not try to engage your viewers further. Even saying a few short words about your brand or cracking the odd joke is way better than nothing. Just make sure it’s not one of those atrocious dad jokes.
26. 71% of companies use Instagram.
Instagram is becoming the number one tool for sharing photos and videos. Even organizations are taking advantage of it to reach the masses. Insta stats show that over 70% of businesses use it.
27. Apparel brand Gap ran a Stories ad campaign in February 2018, which resulted in a 73% higher click-through rate than its previous “non-Stories” Instagram campaign.
Gap wanted to highlight its exciting Logo Remix program, a collection of apparel for men and women, using one of the most recognized logos in the world. So, they used a new eye-catching, full-screen Instagram Story format featuring a carousel. Each card of the carousel was clickable, with “Swipe up to shop the collection” call-to-action buttons that linked to the Gap website.
The result? A sweeping success.
In addition to a huge boost in click-through rate, the campaign resulted in a 17-point lift in ad recall and a 4-point lift in message association for Instagram Stories for business.
But wait – there’s more:
Not only are businesses making great use of Stories; they’re not thinking of slowing down, either:
28. 70% of marketers plan to increase their spending on IG videos.
(Source: Sprout Social)
Nearly ¾ of marketers plan to boost their Instagram video budgets. That’s after a boom in video watching amidst the pandemic as people look for ways to occupy their time, work, or simply learn online. IG’s closest competitor on this front is TikTok.
29. In 2020, brands with over 200,000 followers saw a 34% decrease in Stories’ retention rates.
(Source: Rival IQ)
During the first half of 2018, brands had a Stories retention rate of about 6%. In 2020, brands with more than 200k followers saw a drop in retention rates by over 30%. The number of people who view Instagram Stories for brands with 10,000 to 15,000 followers remained relatively the same as 2019.
30. In the first six months of 2018, Stories in the brand industry had an average reach of 5.96%.
This is the second lowest reach rate in the survey. There are a lot of brands competing for viewers’ attention out there. Besides, there are only so many ways you can make food containers, for example, appear cool – even with the swankiest of swipe up Instagram Stories. Sure, they might keep your vegetables fresh for a bit longer than the competition, but this hardly makes for exciting viewing.
31. In the first six months of 2018, Stories in the entertainment industry had an average reach rate of 6.96%.
This is the second-highest reach rate across all industries. You would expect the entertainment industry’s Stories to be fairly entertaining, wouldn’t you? Fancy a backstage tour of the Coachella music festival from your living room? We thought you might. No surprise here.
32. In the first six months of 2018, Stories in the sports industry had an average reach rate of 10%, according to Instagram Stories stats.
This is the highest reach rate of any industry by a considerable margin. The medium of Stories is very well suited to sports – you can have anything from individual athlete takeovers to most valuable player (MVP) polls and behind-the-scenes looks at training sessions. You name it – they’ve got it.
Instagram continues to roll out new updates in order to capitalize on the phenomenal success of Stories. On March 19, 2019, it introduced a checkout on a brand’s swipe up Instagram Story, which allows users to buy a product without leaving the app.
This is huge:
When you tap to view a product from a brand’s shopping post, a ‘Checkout on Instagram’ button will appear. Once you tap it, you can customize your order by selecting different options, such as size and color. After you’re done, you can check out without leaving Instagram. You’ll only need to enter your personal information (name, email, billing and shipping address, and so on) the first time you check out. After that, it becomes effortless to shop through Instagram.
Pretty sweet, right? Now you can buy that new Prada dress you just came across in no time. Just try not to max out your credit card in all the excitement.
Looking for a bit of Instagram Stories stats banter to break the ice? Then look no further:
33. Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is the most followed individual on Instagram, with 297 million followers.
In fact, he had the second most followed account overall after Instagram’s official profile.
34. Stereoscopy is Instagram’s number one Stories filter.
If you’re looking for more Instagram Story views, filters could do the trick. Their effects transform dull content into appealing pieces full of life. The top three tools in this category are Stereoscopy, The Little Mermaid, and Not So Basic.
35. According to Instagram Stories statistics, the most used GIPHY sticker on Stories in 2018 was the Heart Love Sticker by Arata.
Feeling the love yet? If you’re happy and you know it, stay some more (on Instagram, that is). And, on average, people are indeed watching more and more Stories.
36. In 2018, Stories increased the amount of time spent on Instagram to 28 minutes a day.
What’s more, under 25 year-olds spend even longer – 32 minutes! Estimates show most Instagrammers used to spend between 15 and 21 minutes a day before the introduction of Stories. Instagram Story length is a major contributing factor to this substantial increase. So, it’s not hard to see why they’re all the rage these days. The interest from businesses and influencers naturally follows their tremendous popularity.
You can use this feature for almost anything you can think of, as 2019 Instagram Stories statistics clearly demonstrate. My current feed has the following gems:
- A tennis player practicing the piano (dreadfully out of tune) and playing with her dog
- An up-and-coming English folk singer promoting her next gig
- The official account of Curling Canada doing a player takeover
- A Guardian journalist wishing her friend a happy belated birthday
And so on. I’m sure your Stories feed is just as “fascinating.” And you know what?
That’s what makes it so much fun to play around with. You don’t need to be selling hoodies or reporting the latest news to make use of this format – you can make an Instagram Story for whatever catches your fancy. And, regardless of what your Stories are about, we hope these Instagram Stories Statistics have helped you fully appreciate the importance of this flourishing medium.
500 million people, according to Instagram Stories statics.
1 billion active users per month.
18 – 24 year olds represent 75% of Instagram’s entire user base.
Males between the ages of 25 and 34.
You need at least 700 engaged followers to participate in brand campaigns.
25 to 34 years old.
- Pancake Digital Solutions
- Rival IQ
- Ad Espresso
- Marketing for Greatness
- Rival IQ
- Digiday UK
- Sprout Social