I had this question a little while back on the #AskGaryVee. With both platforms growing in diverse ways, it’s still an extremely relevant topic to discuss.
Let’s put monthly active users aside for a moment and talk about these platforms for what they really are: tremendously different. Twitter is the cocktail party of the internet; when stuff is happening the world, that’s where you go. When there is an unfortunate world crisis, we don’t run to Instagram for the pictures, we run to Twitter for the conversation and live updates.
On the flip side, I do not believe these is a social network in the world right now that has more of the user’s attention that Instagram. When you’re on that platform, you’re on it. 100% engaged and looking at your screen, each photo that passes one by one. Instagram is all about that attention. It knows how to keep it. That’s where it is really winning. People are really consuming content there.
This is one of the reasons that Twitter is evolving. Six years ago, I could send a tweet and get more engagement on it than I do now. I had less of an audience, but the audience was paying closer attention. It was more serious. Now the amount of information and users on that platform has gotten so intense that it’s hard to have that same engagement.
So, from a purely attention based analysis (and attention is what all marketers, besides sales really want) Instagram is clearly going in the right direction. With so many different social network and platforms available to users, it can be difficult to grab that attention and hold it. But Instagram is on to something big. Twitter has the attention too, it just acts differently than Instagram. But I’ll be fascinated to see how they both evolve in the coming years.