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Instagram Stories celebrates its first year and sees major growth

Celebrate emoji: Instagram Stories turns one

Instagram Stories turns one

As Instagram Stories hits its first birthday it seems that the Facebook-owned operation has now surpassed the Snapchat app that inspired it and is a key part of the overall Instagram offer.

The company said that Stories has boosted average Instagram usage to 32 minutes a day for the under-25s and 24 minutes for those aged 25 and over. Meanwhile, half of the businesses present on Instagram have produced a Story during the last month.

That time spent on the app is a key sales message when targeting advertisers who like to hear that their product might be in front of users for longer on Instagram than on its rivals.

While Snapchat’s share price has dropped and its active user growth rate fallen from 17.2% a quarter to only 5%, Instagram Stories seems to be riding high. It has 250m daily users, 84m more than Snapchat.

So what’s drawing people to Instagram overall? Well they seem to love features like the puppy ears filter (which is the number one filter), bunny ears (number three) and koala ears (number five). The Sleep Mask filter and Love (with heart-shaped darts) are at number two and four, respectively.

And Instagram Direct is also helping it to win users users from Snapchat. The virtual message service that was also inspired by Snapchat now has 375m monthly users. And in a Stories synergy, it seems that 20% of Instagram Stories posted by a business get a Direct Message reply, which is also boosting usage and ad opportunities.

Facebook also released some other data on Stories’ first birthday. It seems that the highest engagement rate for Stories when it comes to fashion is enjoyed by models, actresses and social media celebs, although a few luxury brands get onto the list too.

Looking at the top accounts (those with 10m or more followers), the cumulative number of Stories views in the past 12 months put model and actress Emily Ratajkowski at the top of the list with Chiara Ferragni second and Candice Swanepoel third.

Hailey Baldwin, Cara Delevingne, Adriana Lima, Victoria Beckham, Miranda Kerr and Gigi Hadid are next, with the first brand only showing up at number 10. That’s Dior, just ahead of Dolce & Gabbana.

Kendall Jenner and Gisele Bundchen are next with Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin rounding out the top 15.

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