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Social Media

August 31, 2012

Picture storytellers Instagram & Pinterest emerge as top niche social networks

Global information services company Experian has released a study that shows niche social networks as having impressively high growth rates that may rival traditional leaders Facebook and Twitter.

Between July 2011 and July 2012, both Instagram and Pinterest have emerged as the most popular social networks in the study which tracks share of visits by country.

Launched in Oct 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion USD in cash and stocks, Instagram has over 80 million users who share their photos via the Instagram app, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Tumblr.

Pinterest, another photo-centric community, allows users to ‘pin’ items they find interesting to virtual pinboards. The site launched in March 2010 as a closed beta, requiring people to be invited into the site. It is now the third most visited social network in the world.

The reason for their success is that they haven’t tried to be ‘another Facebook’

“The growth of both Instagram and Pinterest over the past year has been phenomenal,” says James Murray, Digital Insights Manager at Experian.  “The reason for their success is that they haven’t tried to be ‘another Facebook’. Instead, they both identified a gap in the market and used the scale of Facebook to reach consumers.”

Instagram’s popularity is strongest in North America, with growth charted at 17,319%. Over the past year Singapore users increased by 8121%, and the UK by 2028%.

By comparison, Pinterest is far more popular in Australia than Instagram, experiencing 798% growth compared to 362%. The North American market still dominates with a 5124% rise in users. Hong Kong also loves the content sharing service, with 2373% new site visits registered.

Other social applications increasing in use around the world include Reddit in Australia, Google + in Brazil, SkillWho in North America, and Steam Community in Singapore, a free social network for gaming.

In a Mashable article on niche social networks, Public Relations manager of ModCloth Alicia Barnes identifies how to leverage niche networks for business. “Participation should be consistent and authentic, behavior that makes sense for site etiquette,” she says. “These niche communities, as strong as they are on their own, cannot exist in a silo. For them to truly succeed, they must be part of your larger brand story and be supported by the other channels.”


About the Author

Evon Koprowski
Brand storyteller, creative strategist, content marketer and all round bon vivant at Red Fortune Media where I growth hack projects for the arts, culture, tourism, technology and social sectors. I'm freelance - if I can help you, get in touch.

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