Twitter vs Instagram

Is Instagram really bigger than Twitter? How do we measure social media success?

In December Instagram announced it had reached 300 million monthly active users, putting it ahead of Twitter with 284million. Instagram users share more than 70 million photos every day, with an average of 2.5 billion daily “likes.” But does this make Instagram bigger than Twitter?

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams famously said “I frankly don’t give a s*** if Instagram has more people looking at pretty pictures,”” when he was asked how he felt about the fact that Instagram now claim the highest number of users. His argument was to the point, “important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter.”

But how do we measure success? Do we measure it by popularity, longevity, or substance?
Perhaps Instagram’s success is that it is so simple. It is small doses of visual pleasure, no reading or concentration necessary, just an immediate message, presented with the usual attractive filter.

But is it just “pretty pictures”? What is the real power of Instagram? Well as we know, a picture is worth a thousand words, (more than the 140 character allowance from Twitter). But on a more serious note, Instagram does have uses beyond sharing photos of pets and home baking. At a recent masterclass hosted by The Guardian, PR legend Liz Matthews stated that Instagram was fundamental for creating online presence and selling a brand in the beauty and fashion industry. The power of celebrity is especially potent in this case. Here instagrams are not just pictures; they’re basically a form of free advertising with a potential reach of several million. Pair the picture with a caption and carefully chosen hashtags and you’ve got yourself a non-intrusive, incredibly powerful and potentially viral pictorial press release.

And what about the selfie? The popularity of selfies in social media has been staggering. Instagram currently has over 53 million photos tagged with the hashtag #selfie. Would the selfie have become part of the daily lives of so many of us, and gone on to be the basis of so many national charitable campaigns, without the ease of use and complimentary filters that Instagram offers us?
As long as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter offer us different experiences, there’s a place for all of them. But which will the investors favour?

Twitter’s financial performance is more solid than it is impressive. According to a report released by Twitter, user growth is slowing, which may unnerve investors, whereas Instagram have just experienced a 100 million user increase with 1 year.

But though Instagram may be enjoying a period of natural growth, in terms of revenue it still has a long way to go before reaching the revenue achieved by Twitter, more than $360 million last quarter.

In a PR agency function, which of the social media platforms is the most powerful? Or rather, which would be the most successful for your company? Well it depends on your content and your message. If your product or brand lends itself well to visuals and online window shopping, Instagram is a must. But the business tools offered by Facebook are very useful, and Twitter will always be a great way to reach the masses.

Here at Red Marlin we specialise in assessing the most appropriate strategies and techniques to gain results for your brand or product. Whether you are looking for social media strategy or the formulation of a media campaign, we will discuss your needs and create a bespoke service to meet your aspirations.

To find out how Red Marlin could help support a change of direction for your dealership call us on 01926 832395 or email

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