Instagram has already established itself as one of the most popular photo sharing applications by crossed the 80 million download mark through its iPhone and Android apps. Instagram for some is about sharing their experiences through photos, while for others it's about making art through their phones. Now a study released by Simply Measured aims to gauge how Instagram is being used by top brands, and it has returned with some results. Simply Measured has found that 40 percent of the leading brands are active on Instagram. To begin with, it used the Interbrand 100 list to see just how well or otherwise have the leading brands have taken to the popular service. It further adds that the data and analysis in this study come from Simply Measured's new Instagram analytics and reporting.

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40 percent of top brands are active on Instagram

The study admittedly adds that though Instagram's growth is not the one to be compared with the likes of Facebook and Twitter, the fact remains that it has been a lot quicker in this case. It adds here that Instagram is expected to reach 100 million users by early fall – a number Facebook took four years to reach and Twitter took five years. It points further that the total of active Interbrand 100 companies account for an Instagram audience of 3 million and growing, but the top 10 brands account for 96 percent of the engagement.  MTV, for example, has 813,201 followers and a total of 478 photos. It has garnered 3,477 likes and 88 comments. MTV's favourite filter is Rise. Starbucks Coffee has 758,146 followers and a total of 202 photos. It has managed to garner 3,812 likes and 69 comments. Starbucks' favorite filter is Valencia.

At the bottom of that list is McDonalds, which has 38,141 followers and 7 photos. Interestingly, it has been found that the most active category featuring on this list is that of luxury brands. Here, some of the better players are Burberry, Tiffany & Co., Audi, Hermes, Gucci, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Armani. The brands have accounted slots for themselves in the top 15 for total engagement. The report also found that the active users are almost exclusively B2C companies. 

Narrowing down further, the study found that out of the photos that were posted by these brands, 60 percent had filters on them. It found that while those with the 'Valencia' filter showed the highest engagement, they were used only 7 percent of the time. The filter, Lo-Fi was found to be the one with the highest usage, but it did show a slightly lower engagement. The study notes here that, “there's a lot of room for trial-and-error as brands use the filter analytics to determine and optimize their individual strategies.”

Instagram, the popular image capturing application for the iPhone that was recently launched for the Android, has an update on its way. The latest update adds two main features: one, support for the newly launched Nexus 7 tablet by Google; two, the ability to upload photos directly to Flickr, the popular online image hosting site owned by Yahoo!. The Nexus 7 has a mere 1.2 MP camera while Instagram is known to support phones featuring cameras with decent specs. It appears it is making an exception with the the Nexus 7. The tablet would be one of the first products that support both Flickr and the Jelly Bean OS. Flickr itself launched an Android app late last year announcing its foray into the Android arena. Flickr users who also use Android can not only capture high resolution images, but also share them using one of the many social networking services made available as part of the service and app.

The entire study can be viewed here

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