Instagram’s Platform Maturity in Two Charts

It's been 6 months since Instagram reached 400 million active users. How has its size and maturation impacted Follower growth and interactions? We took a look at data from the 500 largest Instagram company profiles to find out.

UPDATE (June 2016): Congratulations to Instagram for hitting another milestone of 500 million monthly active users (MAUs)!

We looked at Socialbakers data from the 500 largest Instagram profiles from January 2015 to February 2016 to get an idea of how the platform is performing as a whole.


Judging by these 500 largest profiles, absolute Follower growth has increased nearly 35%. In short, the number of Followers is actually increasing each month - though it may not be as rapid as previous months.

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We can attribute this relative drop to the natural lifecycle of any social media platform. Generally when platforms first launch, the Fan/Follower growth is immense. Over time, growth will inevitably slow down. The same principle applies to the largest profiles, which attract the majority of their Followers earlier on in their lifetimes before growth evens out.


While Follower growth appears to be slowing, Total Interactions for the 500 largest profiles are actually up by 42%. Relative data doesn't tell the entire story here either. Interactions per 1,000 Followers is lower than Total Interactions because not every Follower is an active user.

There are a few reasons this might be the case. It may take time for a user to become active after they follow a company profile. Some may even stop using their account altogether. Or their feed could be filled with content from other accounts which could make these Followers difficult to reach.

The Takeaway

It is becoming even more critical for social media marketers to break through the noise, so they can get the maximum value out of the still-growing visual platform. There’s nothing alarming about Follower growth slowing down. It's part of the platform’s maturation.

To perform at your best and grow your community on Instagram, always keep in mind: post relevant content, track which content your Followers interact with most, and use the most relevant hashtags. Followers and Interactions will take care of themselves if you do.

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