clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Instagram Is the Fastest Growing Major Social Network

Instagram grew nine percent among U.S. adults last year.

Kurt Wagner/ Re/code

Instagram is growing quickly — faster than the competition, it turns out.

New data from the Pew Research Internet Project released Friday found that Instagram was the fastest growing major social network among U.S. adults last year. The segment of U.S. adults using the photo-sharing app grew nine percent over 2013, meaning 26 percent of the U.S. adult population is now on Instagram.

That marks the biggest jump of any major social network studied, surpassing growth by Pinterest (seven percent), LinkedIn (six percent) and Twitter (five percent). Facebook, on the other hand, didn’t expand its user base among U.S. adults at all last year, staying steady at 71 percent, according to the study.

Instagram also found success with young people. For the first time, more than half (53 percent) of young adults — that is, 18- to 29-year-olds — are on Instagram, according to the research.

Pew Research Center

Why does all this matter? Fast growth tends to catch the eyes of advertisers, creating more demand for ads and, in turn, more revenue for the company. Facebook’s plateau is also interesting. The network will need to find ways to monetize a U.S. user base that isn’t growing (at least not much). That often means a higher ad volume.

Of course, the data isn’t perfect. It excludes U.S. teenagers who are heavy users of many of these services, and, of course, all international users. It also excludes data on other popular social networks from the past year, like Snapchat.

Still, it helps support what many have noticed of late — that Instagram is growing like a weed. The site announced 300 million active users in December, a 50 percent increase from just nine months prior.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.