Instagram leapfrogged past Twitter last year in terms of U.S. penetration, and select brands have leveraged its popularity to achieve remarkable growth on the platform. Instagram leader Nike achieved a 248% increase during the past year (amassing over 14 million followers), while @nikefootball saw a 300% growth in followers (approaching 5 million). On Twitter, by contrast, @Nike achieved a 57% increase over the past year. Among the 10 most-followed brands on Twitter, Victoria’s Secret did best in terms of year-over-year growth (65%).
Twitter communities are generally significantly smaller than Instagram’s, with the top brand account on Twitter (Chanel) laying claim to half as many followers as the top brand on Instagram (Nike). Victoria’s Secret had close to 13 million followers on Instagram during the April data collection period, versus 6.2 million on Twitter. Michael Kors counted 3.9 million Instagram followers but only 2.8 million on Twitter.
Both Nike and Chanel also rule as Instagram hashtags, taking the top two spots. On this metric, prestige Fashion brands rule, accounting for half of the Top 10, with one Auto brand (BMW) making it onto the list.