Facebook or Instagram?

Reasons why brands are switching from Facebook to Instagram

Facebook and Instagram


Launched in 2004, Facebook has withstood the test of time and remain the top social media platform even till date. A platform that transcend beyond just keeping in contact with friends and family, it is a social and lifestyle platform with an abundance of interesting worldwide content.

We Are Social

With the largest user base, it is not surprising that Facebook is the top choice for brands engaging in social media marketing – be it for content marketing, building a brand community or for Facebook ads. Facebook has revolutionized online social networking and expanded the possibilities of social media for businesses.

6 years after Facebook, Instagram was launched in 2010 as a free photo sharing mobile application. It quickly gained popularity and became one of the most influential social network in the world with over 10 million new users in a year. Instagram provided a direct solution to millennials’ social media needs – social networking with a strict focus on mobile experience and visual content. Over the years, we have all seen Instagram’s continuous growth as it thrives in engaging its community in an exciting world of creative content.

Although Instagram has been acquired by Facebook in 2012, the two platform still remains distinct in their offering and have to be approached differently. While both social media platforms are powerful and lies endless opportunities for brands to engage with their audience, we are here today to find out why increasing number of brands are choosing to switch over to Instagram. 


Instagram users are more visual and receptive to brand’s content

User base:

One of the key difference in demographics between Instagram and Facebook is the younger generation on Instagram where 90% of users and influencers themselves are under the age of 35. The older generation are less active on Instagram and have a preference for content on Facebook.

We Are Social

Facebook on the other hand, attracts users from almost all age category. While millennials (age 18 – 34) makes up the largest percentage, these users usually approach Facebook for a different purpose, which will be addressed next.


For the longest time, Facebook has been playing a largely informational role as a social media platform. Users can find out more about a company through their page, understand their opening hours, address of upcoming activities. Facebook may be seen as more professional as more information are required to create a profile. With the ability to post long texts, users can sometimes be overwhelmed by the amount of text content offered on their feed.

While Facebook has increasing video content from recreational/brand pages, many users are on the platform more for a relaxation and one way consumption of content. Also, increasing number of users are using Facebook as a medium to update themselves on the latest news and happening.

Babe Box

Instagram on the other hand has been created for the purpose of capturing and sharing moments through visual. Users go on Instagram to engage, to post, share and view the visual content offered by the community that they follow. As opposed to Facebook, Instagram users go on the platform to engage and not find out more information. Also, the younger audience are more receptive to brands’ content on Instagram that resonates with them.


Instagram has 60 times* higher engagement rate

Before we go into explaining why, let’s look at the real life example from some of the most popular consumer brands @Zara and @HP. We compare the same post that the brands posted on their Facebook and Instagram respectively and these are the results:

  • Zara FB: 25 million likes on page, 1.6 likes on post
  • Zara IG: 21 million followers, 89.4k likes on post
  • HP FB: 4 million likes on page, 2.5k views and 132 likes on video
  • HP IG: 795k followers, 9.6k views and 2k likes on video

The difference is huge.


This result doesn’t just apply to these two brands; a recent study by Forrester on more than 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks confirms the staggering engagement performance of Instagram as compared to the other platform.


As Instagram offers a low-clutter, aesthetic and content friendly layout, younger generation users are more receptive to consuming brand’s content and message, resulting in higher engagement. With performance of up to 60 times better than on Facebook, it is no wonder brands are switching to Instagram for their marketing efforts especially so for influencer marketing.


Marketing on Facebook is becoming more expensive


A recent Facebook updates have gotten brands concerned over the potential rising cost of marketing on the top social media platform. The update will now allow influencers on Facebook to turn their paid content into sponsored posts by tagging the brands they are working with and then letting advertisers boost those posts directly without sharing them first (Digiday).


It may seem that Facebook has made influencer content marketing on Facebook easier, many worry that the Facebook newsfeed algorithm will eventually suppress these influencers’ post unless brands put in budget to boost them. Their worries are not without grounds; how often do we actually see content from the brand pages we liked on Facebook now? More often than not, we see sponsored ads/videos or highly shared content with in-video ads at the top of our news feed.


Instagram has better user experience

Facebook used to prioritized user experience above all but recent changes have made many users doubt this. The recent ad update was rolled to allow advertisers and publishers to gain revenue but it may have resulted in many, many frustrated users. Unskippable mid-video ads are now on highly popular Facebook videos, forcing users to watch the ads before they can enjoy the rest of the video content. This left many users annoyed and simply ditching the video altogether.

There are rumors from Navarro, Director of Social Media for The Next Web who said that “Facebook will stop testing mid-roll ads in videos due to detrimental results on video metrics… Moving to Pre-roll ads instead (Metro)”. Either way, not so good news to most of the users out there who simply wants to watch their favorite puppy videos.


In a highly visual generation, users seem to be more active and engaging on Instagram than on Facebook. Even though Facebook ads are still one of the best form of advertising at scale, other forms of marketing on Facebook has proven to be less than rewarding.

While Instagram still lacks in the ability to connect users with brands at the last stage (traceable link in posts/caption), it is one of the best medium for brands’ marketing effort to increase brand awareness, engagement and in building a community.

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