Instagram is reeling in new users, while TikTok’s growth slows

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram platform grew its downloads by 20% last year, versus only a 4% increase for TikTok, report says.

Instagram is fighting back against TikTok’s rising dominance in short-form video with its own Reels short-form offering – so much so that Instagram overtook TikTok in new app downloads in 2023. It is the first time this has happened since 2020.

Photo by Cottonbro Studio from Pexels


According to a report in London’s Financial Times newspaper, which quotes research market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, Instagram downloads grew by 20% last year. In comparison, TikTok’s downloads grew by 4%. 


“Instagram has outperformed TikTok in adoption over the past few years, driven by the popularity of its Reels feature along with legacy social media features and functions,” said Abraham Yousef, Senior Insights Manager at Sensor Tower. 


The Reels feature on Instagram is said by some social media experts to be a “copycat” of what TikTok offers for short video clips, but has taken some time to gain traction with audiences. 


TikTok momentum slow for first time since 2016 


There are now signs TikTok’s growth has begun to plateau for the first time since it was launched in 2016, the Financial Times notes. 


“Instagram’s monthly active users reached 1.47-billion, with a rise of 13-million in the final quarter of 2023, according to Sensor Tower. TikTok’s active users reached 1.12-billion, with a decline of 12-million in the final three months of last year. 


“However, TikTok continues to gain better engagement from its more than 1-billion active users worldwide. Users spent an average of 95 minutes on TikTok in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with 62 minutes on Instagram, 30 minutes on X and 19 minutes on Snapchat,” the newspaper states. 


According to the news website Mashable, which reports on digital culture, “TikTok is becoming increasingly less fun and more focused on e-commerce. With the emergence of TikTok shop, it feels like every other video on the For You Page is a promoted or sponsored post. The TikTok experience is changing, and it might not be for the better”. 


You can read the full Financial Times article here. 

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.