December 1, 2021Published by: Jonny Atter

Instagram Brands 100 – a blockbuster year for video

With lockdowns lifted and people doing things IRL again, what we expected to see from brands on social media in 2021 was perhaps less content, not more. But the data tells a different story – short-form video is on the rise.

Our latest Instagram Brands 100 report reveals that the number of brands using Reels  – Instagram’s TikTok-rivalling short video feature – has more than doubled in the past year (88% vs 40% YoY), while the number of Reels videos published by brands during our 30-day research period was up 165% compared to 2020. 

Despite TikTok increasing in popularity (1bn+ monthly active users), Instagram is still showing consistent levels of engagement and the 100 brands in our report attracted 261 million more followers this year. 

However, TikTok is starting to appeal to more brands, and 73% of the top 100 brands are now active on the platform, with 58% publishing weekly or more frequently.

Instagram trends

While the use of Reels has soared, other features have decline to varying degrees, as brands prioritise content that delivers the biggest return. The number of Stories posted by the top 100 brands during our research period were down 16% on 2020, feed posts were down 14%, IGTV down 53% and the big hit of 2020, Live, declined by 65% (although the number of brands using the feature actually increased by 39%).  

That wasn’t the only surprise though; 25-34 year-olds aren’t quite as engaged as they used to be (2.3% less than in 2020) – perhaps enticed by Twitter or TikTok – but 45-54 year-olds have filled the gap, engaging 2.9% more with Instagram posts this year.

Video growth

On the whole, Instagram continues to hold strong and continue to evolve. It’s a huge marketplace for a wide range of consumer brands as shopping becomes ever more popular (67% of the 100 brands had active shops on Insta). In 2022 we expect the use of video and shopping to continue to grow and for brands to see new ways to make the most of the platform. 

Check out the full report to find out more about how our top 100 brands use Instagram, a range of case studies and our tips for best practice. Download the report here.

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