Nielsen Study Reveals Why Indian Digital Marketers Should Take Instagram Seriously

A Nielsen study has some interesting data about Indians on Instagram. We look at the findings of the report and what insights can a digital marketer take to reach out to millennials

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Instagram, the photo and video sharing social networking app owned by Facebook has its eye set on India. The company shies off sharing Indian numbers but states that its monthly actives in India have more than doubled over the past year (as of September 2015). Globally the app has grown to more than 400 million users this year. Among the last 100 million to join Instagram, more than half live in Asia and Europe.

Nevertheless a latest study carried out by Nielsen has some interesting data to share about Indians on Instagram. Named as the “Indians on Instagram”, the study informed that over 90% of local Instagrammers are less than 30 years old, mobile-first users with high spending power.

The report has revealed some more insights that might interest digital marketers in the country. The mobile first app with more than 400 million active users globally is the current favourite of the millennials in the country. “18 – 24 age group is the most active on Instagram with more than 80% using their phone to take pictures to post on social media.”

This shouldn’t be a surprise for a country which is the second largest smartphone market globally. The country also considered one of the world’s fastest growing Internet market, is expected to see the number of tablets hit more than 18 million by 2019, according to the US-based firm’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) global mobile data traffic forecast for 2014 to 2019.

Even the recent We Are Social mobile growth report in India highlighted that social networking remains the topmost regular activity on smartphones followed by watching a video clip and uploading a picture.

Giving a profile peak of an Indian Instagram user, the report informs that over 50% of Indian Instagrammers have frequently purchased products and services from the brands they follow. They also follow brands to keep in touch with the latest products, learn about deals and shop for products online. Their key interests include music, travel, food, photography, technology, fashion and sports.

Listing down some of the reasons why Indians use Instagram, the report finds that most of them express themselves artistically among like-minded people and then follow celebrity trends. Some of them discover information and also share food and travel options. “Indian Instagrammers are avid travellers, 50% of whom have taken four vacations the past year.”

There’s no doubt why Vista Rooms, a branded hotel chain providing low-cost luxury stays across India went on to create its own app on Instagram by applying a cool twist to Instagram’s tagging feature. Search for @vistarooms_app on Instagram, the account is filled with photo locations. Tapping these photos and clicking on the popup leads one to all the Vista rooms in that location. You can also find a tile for each of the property like food, places of interest, culture.

Not just Vistarooms, companies like Paper Boat, Femina, Kingfisher, among others have built an organic and engaging community. To know more on how Indian brands are using Instragram see this – How Indian Brands Are Telling Stories On Instagram One Picture At A Time.

The seriousness for Instagram among marketers is growing after the company opened up its ad offerings for India. In India, the Instagram community will gradually see ads appear from launch partners including Gillette, Kit Kat, Paper Boat and TRESemmé. The ad services are also being used by companies like Groffers, Olx, Foodpanda to drive app installs. Whether they are telling a great story via their ads is a completely different story.

If you as a brand manager is looking for inspiration on how to excite the millennials to click on ads then you definitely need to follow @instagramforbusiness account. Each week Instagram will run exclusive, behind-the-scenes stories that inspire, inform and showcase the work done by three important groups in the business community from all around the world—brands, small businesses and creative agencies.

Check out what Sony did on the app for its launch of C5 and M5 phones. “We started the official Sony Mobile Instagram page to communicate with our target consumers through lifestyle images of our brand and products, and the results have been encouraging,” said Joyce Tang, Head of Marketing, Sony Mobile Hong Kong.

Brands around the world are using Instagram in creative ways. Just last month, @sonyxperiahk ran three Marquee campaigns (ads tailored for big brand moments) announcing the launch of their C5 and M5 phones. Through their campaigns, Sony Hong Kong strikes the balance of visual integrity and strong brand presence, while showing consumers that their new phones take photos a clear as the objects they capture. “We started the official Sony Mobile Instagram page to communicate with our target consumers through lifestyle images of our brand and products, and the results have been encouraging,” said Joyce Tang, Head of Marketing, Sony Mobile Hong Kong. Read more about Sony’s campaign and Marquee on our Instagram for Business Blog. Link in profile.   A photo posted by Express Your Business’ Story (@instagramforbusiness) on


According to Emarkerter prediction, by 2017 Instagram will be on track to surpass Google and Twitter in terms of US mobile display ad revenues. Instagram also boasts that its ads are 2.8 times more effective than other online advertising.

With appealing demographics and available ad network there are enough reasons for Indian digital marketers to take the app seriously, however, do keep in mind that it is a network loved and owned by creative people so think about campaigns focused on Instagram, don’t run your Facebook and Twitter posts or contests on it.