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 2020.
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’s official account had 327 million followers in January 2020
- There were 120 million Instagram users in the US alone in January 2019
- 96% of surveyed US marketers planned to continue using Instagram Stories ads in the next 6 months
- 93% of surveyed US marketers planned to post Instagram Stories more often in the future
- 73% of influencers named Instagram Stories among the most effective content formats for influencer marketing
Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock these last couple of years:
What Do We Have On This Page
What Is an Instagram Story?
Introduced in August 2016, Instagram Stories is a feature which 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:
By June 2018, 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 a few:
We’ve already mentioned the mind-boggling growth of Instagram Stories. These fascinating facts will give you a clearer picture.
1. Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users in June 2018.
Instagram has experienced phenomenal growth since it was launched for iOS in October 2010, as Instagram Stories statistics confirm. 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, breaking the 1 billion mark in June of next year.
2. In January 2019, there were 500 million active daily Instagram Stories users.
Instagram Stories were introduced in August 2016 to compete with Snapchat Stories and quickly proved popular. They already had 200 million active daily users by April 2017, and the figure had doubled to 400 million in January 2018, according to Instagram Stories statistics.
3. 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.
4. In 2018, 15-25% of Story viewers swiped up to follow a link and engage directly with a brand’s website.
While this may seem like a fairly low percentage, it’s actually a big deal. In general, Stories have a lower average Instagram engagement rate than posts. So, the fact that close to a quarter of Story viewers are interested enough to follow up is good news for businesses. This is telling of how users are starting to warm up to the concept of stories.
5. 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.
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.
6. 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.
7. 27% of all Story activity in 2018 comprised days with a single frame.
(Source: Rival IQ)
Most businesses tend to post single-frame Stories on most days. Only once every 4 days would a company create seven or more frames for Instagram. Generally, short Stories are far more common than long ones. When it comes to overall engagement rate, it has been proven frame quality is more important than quantity. With that in mind, this tendency comes as no surprise.
8. 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?
9. The average Instagram Story length of top brands in 2018 was 7.6 frames.
This is down from 8 frames in 2017. And here’s the good news. While the average frame length has decreased, the average completion rate has increased from 63% in 2017 to an impressive 75% in 2018.
But which demographic is most keen on Stories?
10. 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?
11. 35% of all Instagram users worldwide in October 2019 were aged 25-34.
This is slightly higher than the corresponding figure for the lower age bracket, 18-24-year-olds, which stood at 30%. Together, these two demographic groups made up almost two-thirds of Instagram users worldwide. Males outnumbered females slightly, accounting respectively for 17% and 14% of worldwide users in each of the two groups, as Insta stats demonstrate.
So, how does that affect businesses?
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. In a 2018 survey, 96% of US marketers said they planned to continue using Stories ads in the next 6 months.
This is huge. US marketers now view Instagram Stories as indispensable when promoting their brands. So, shall we look at one successful Stories ad?
16. 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:
17. 93% of marketers plan to post more Stories more often in 2019.
The trend is crystal clear. Posting stories every few days – as opposed to, say, once a month – will provide your brand with greater exposure. Once your viewers get used to the idea that you post interesting content, they’re far more likely to tune in regularly. This, in turn, will boost your Instagram story views. Which bring us to something we briefly addressed earlier, namely—
In general, the larger the number of followers a handle has, the lower its reach rate. But how does reach vary across different industries? A recent survey sheds light on this.
18. In the first six months of 2018, Stories in the media industry had an average reach rate of 5.71%.
This is the lowest reach rate among the business sectors surveyed. This is true partly because of the controversy surrounding news outlets in recent years. What’s more, mutual accusations of editorial bias and fake news scandals have further tarnished the reputation of the media industry. Quite predictably, fewer and fewer people follow traditional media and view their Instagram Stories.
19. 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.
20. 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 Coachella music festival from your living room? We thought you might. No surprise here.
21. 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 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:
22. As of January 2020, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo was the most followed individual on Instagram, with 197.8 million followers.
In fact, he had the second most followed account overall (Instagram’s official account came first, with 277.55 million followers). But if it’s Stories you’re after, you’re likely to be disappointed – the Portugal and Juventus forward prefers single-image posts.
23. “Heart Eyes” was the most used face filter in Instagram Stories in 2018.
Filters can add a feel-good factor to Instagram posts, which is often missing on other social media platforms. That’s right: there’s lots of love on Insta, and Stories are no exception.
24. 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.
25. 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.