Is Instagram Dying?

Since its founding in 2010, Instagram is one of the most popular social media apps.

Noelle Nelson and James Zbyszinski

Since its founding in 2010, Instagram is one of the most popular social media apps.

Since 2010, Instagram has become one of the most popular social platforms that exists. From allowing people to share photos of themselves in everyday life to uploading stories or live feed, the platform connects users around the world. However, some speculation has recently risen saying that the platform may be dwindling in popularity. 

Instagram was originally created as an app with the purpose for people to create and share photos with each other. Yet, over the past several years, that original purpose has lost focus.  In trying to compete with other platforms and combine features that make those platforms desired, the app isn’t maintaining its touch with its users. With the creation of filters, messaging, ads and algorithms, stories, live feed, and more, the app has become overcrowded with features and has lost the fun and functionality previously associated with it.

“I hate how Instagram has added the new tabs of reels and shopping because I use neither of them,” senior Joy Fan said. “It just seems like they switched out two important tabs for two tabs I could care less about.”

Despite averaging 446 million installs of the app in 2019, its growth appears to be rather small. Most users who want to have the platform already have it downloaded, and recently it has declined in popularity amongst the younger generation, with TikTok evolving as a primary social media app. While many young users still possess Instagram, some fail to post regularly or have become discouraged with many of the app’s latest features. 

In a study done by H. Tankovska, Instagram’s annual growth rate was 6.7% in 2019, but as of 2023, the rate is expected to decrease to only 1.8%.

 “I wouldn’t say that it’s dying compared to other platforms because plenty of people still use it and communicate through it,” junior Jonathan Zbyszinski said. “But on the contrary, it is less popular than other apps such as Tik Tok.”

Instagram’s interaction with younger teenagers, primarily between the ages of 13 to 17, is lack-luster at best. According to Statista, the worldwide percentage of users in this age group is between 3.6% and 3.7%. While there aren’t many people from Gen Z on the app, there are still a lot of people using Instagram, with its primary users being between the ages of 25 and 34, tallying up to about 16% to 17% of the app’s overall usage. 

However, while the numbers of newer users aren’t getting any bigger, the bright side for Instagram is that it has recorded over one billion active users on the platform. It doesn’t seem the servers are getting shut down any time soon.

“Instagram is by far the app that I use the most on the phone,” junior Leah Hundley said. “That being said, I hate the toxicity of the app when people are either making fun of others or being rude.”

Many companies have used ads and media influencers to get the word of their products out to people who might be interested. Of the companies that have specific budgets to pay some of these influencers to get people to buy their products, only 39% of these companies wanted to increase that budget. This means that the majority of marketers decided that they didn’t want to spend additional money on marketing by using influencers. One possibility for this might be because they don’t have the right demographic on the app or people aren’t going into the app long enough to actually get information about the product that is being advertised.

Nonetheless, Instagram is still a widely used and valued app among individuals all around the world and has over 500 million people checking it daily. Who’s to say that this short projection of growth and controversial methods of marketing and development aren’t leading to a more evolved, better app to some users. Unfortunately, only time will tell if Instagram is becoming a dwindling app against other social media platforms.