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A picture-perfect growth story: Instagram has grown by 66% in India

Its own mother brand Facebook grew by 16 per cent to 380 million users, while LinkedIn grew by 20 per cent during the same period

Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn

Surajeet Das Gupta  |  New Delhi 

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram
“A lot of people make a living out of Instagram. We want to create a suite of products so that different businesses can take advantage of different services”, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram

In the last 12 months, the number of Indian users of Facebook’s picture and video sharing app grew by more than 66 per cent — from 77.4 million to 129 million — according to data from NapoleonCat, a social media management tool, which analyses data on apps globally.

Beloved of teenagers and the youth, is now the fastest growing social media app in India. Its own mother brand grew by 16 per cent to 380 million users, while grew by 20 per cent during the same period.

Discerning the trend, has been making India its preferred testing ground for many of its new products. On Wednesday, launched a test version of “Instagram Lite”, and India is one of the first few countries where it is being rolled out. The new version requires only 2MB of storage. Hence, it can be used by a larger number of consumers who may have low-memory phones.

Also on the cards is the possible entry of Instagram’s shopping and e-commerce offering, which has already been launched in some countries like the US. That’s not all. It is coming up with a suite of new products which will help the company as well as creators of content get more opportunities for monetisation. Says Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram: “We’re going to continue to focus on Instagram as it is quickly becoming one of our most important markets worldwide. (According to estimates, India is the number one market after the US). We have grown an immense amount in the last year.”

Mosseri also gave indications of Instagram’s monetisation plan. “A lot of people make a living out of Instagram. And we want to ensure that we create a suite of products over time, so that different businesses can take advantage of different services. We hope to create a whole set of tools to leverage Instagram,” he said.

Of course, Instagram has had its share of luck in India. The lockdown spurred a huge demand for the app — in the first week of the lockdown (from March 18-24), the number of live views went up by a staggering 60 per cent. And India’s ban on the Chinese app TiTok (which had over 200 million users in the country) in end June, helped Instagram’s prime new feature, Reels, which is a short (15-second) video-sharing platform, take off in a big way. By the time it was tested in India in July, millions were looking for an alternative to TikTok. Needless to say, Reels profited from that vacuum. According to NapoleonCat, Instagram had around 94 million users in May this year.



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First Published: Thu, December 17 2020. 06:10 IST