Despite having less than half of Facebook's monthly active users (MAUs), Instagram's top 10 accounts generate 5 times more interactions than Facebook's most-engaged accounts, according to data from CrowdTangle between Nov. 17-Feb. 17.
Why it matters: These numbers illustrate the level of engagement Instagram has captured. The disadvantage in MAUs can be overcome if users come to the platform more times in a day, spend more time when on the app, and engage more while there.
Between the lines: The type of accounts that fill out the top 10 of each platform reflect the engagement incentives on those platforms and lend insight into what users go there for.
- Instagram: Star power and celebrity on the list speak to how showcasing a lifestyle flourishes on Instagram. A visually oriented platform enables "influencers" to present an aesthetic that followers can aspire to. With no real sharing mechanism like Facebook or Twitter, the proliferation of information (and misinformation) is less prevalent.
- Facebook: Faceless viral content publishers flourish. Pages are reliant on Facebook's algorithm to be surfaced into users' feeds, and because the majority of posts won't break through, the most successful pages are the ones that have posts frequently go viral. The top Facebook pages aren't brand-name publishers, but accounts that create, aggregate, and sometimes pirate viral content.
- Twitter: Politics and ideological warfare win out. Rhetoric and ideas predominate on Twitter because text is the basic post type, making it a natural fit for politicians and political commentators. This dynamic also makes the platform ripe for conflict-as-entertainment partisan echo chambers and bloodbaths — providing plenty of incentive for misinformation.
By the numbers: The most recently reported MAU numbers have Facebook at 2.32 billion (Jan. 2019), Instagram at 1 billion (June 2018) and Twitter at 326 million (Oct. 2018).
- Instagram's top 10 accounts generated 4.8 billion interactions (likes + comments) vs. Facebook's 922 million (reactions + comments + shares) vs. Twitter's 398 million (retweets plus likes).
Samples of high-performing posts:
- 9Gag — Hong Kong-based viral video and meme publisher
- Kylie Jenner
- 433 — Dutch-owned soccer account
- Ariana Grande
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- The Rock
- Kim Kardashian West
- National Geographic
- LADbible — British viral content publisher.
- Cifras — Brazilian viral content publisher.
- UNILAD — British viral content publisher now owned by LADBible.
- Womenworking.com — Inspiration-centric women's lifestyle company.
- Todo Imagenes — Page for Spanish, female-oriented publisher Ohmirevista.
- Fox News
- Memes — Meme and viral content page.
- Khaosod — Thai media publisher.
- Power of Positivity — Inspiration and lifestyle content publisher.