New research suggests that the growth of Instagram's users in the United States is expected to slow down between 2020 and 2023.
A slowdown in US users
eMarketer projects that Instagram user growth in the US will fall to single digits (that is below 10%) in 2020. In its report published in January 2020, eMarketer forecast a growth rate of 6.7% for 2020 compared to 10.1% in 2018.
"Starting in 2020, and through the end of our forecast period in 2023, we estimate that the social media platform will grow slower than previously expected," eMarketer said, speaking of US users in particular.
It's worth mentioning that in June 2018, Instagram announced hitting the 1-billion-users mark. But since then, it hasn't published any official data about the number of users on its platform.
Growth estimates revised lower
eMarketer also revised down its previous growth estimates for Instagram's US users. It lowered its growth projections to 4.5% for 2020, down from 5.4%, while for 2021, the researcher expects user growth at 3.2% compared to its previous estimate of 4.1%.
The reason behind these lower projections, eMarketer says, "is the fact that older age groups are not joining the platform as quickly as anticipated."
Why the slowdown
A 6.7% growth for 2020 still translates into growth, but with fewer older age groups joining the platform, and likely with the emergence of new social media and video platforms every day and every month, this growth is likely slowing down.
In addition, stronger competition from TikTok and a resurging Snapchat continue to weigh on Instagram and its rise.
“Instagram is doing really well—it is the second-most internet-penetrated social media platform in the US behind Facebook, and despite increased pressure from competition, we expect it to maintain its second-place position with a good gap from the rest of the platforms,” comments eMarketer junior forecasting analyst Nazmul Islam.
It is worth mentioning that despite the slowing older user growth for Instagram, the platform has seen "larger-than-expected gains of around 11.4% for US users aged 25 to 34, according to eMarketer.
A recent infographic by Red Website Design put TikTok at the top of 5 social media platforms individuals and agencies alike need to focus on in 2020.
In terms of ad revenues for Instagram, eMarketer expects "high double-digit rates" and revenues of $9.45 billion for 2019. The firm also forecast that this figure would grow by 46.6% to $13.86 billion in 2020.
"Newly introduced ads in different parts of the app, like the “Discover” tab, open up more inventory for advertisers. Shoppable ads are currently in beta on the platform, but we expect that they will play a major role in future growth," eMarketer concluded its report on Instagram.