Instagram, the popular photo-sharing platform, attracted an average of 7.3 million daily users in the US via mobile device in August 2012, surpassing the 6.9 million who visited Twitter via mobile device, according to data from comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0.


Instagram's August figure is a nearly tenfold increase from six months earlier—from 886,000 average daily visitors in March 2012. Twitter's mobile traffic also increased over the six-month period, but at a much slower rate.

Moreover, Instagram users spent 257 minutes accessing the photo-sharing site via mobile device in August, on average, whereas Twitter users spent 170 minutes visiting the site via mobile over the same period, comScore found.

Even so, Twitter attracted roughly 29 million unique users in the US via mobile device in August, compared with nearly 22 million for Instagram (comScore measured use across iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices that accessed both sites via native application as well as via mobile Web browser).

In other words, Twitter had a greater number of smartphone users visiting its site in the US (via the mobile Web and via Twitter apps), but Instagram’s users appeared to return to the site on a more frequent basis, and spent more time on the site when doing so. 

That's good news for Facebook.

In an effort to tap mobile-savvy audiences, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion earlier in 2012. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his press announcement: "Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests."

Meanwhile, Twitter credits much of its Web traffic to mobile: As of June 7, 2012, 60% of Twitter's active users accessed the service via mobile device, according to a company tweet:

In addition, the figures do not account for non-mobile users. For example, in August Instagram attracted 26.0 million unique US visitors (total home, work, and university locations—including mobile device traffic), compared with 38.2 million for Twitter, according to separate data from comScore Media Metrix.

About the data: Findings are from comScore's Mobile Metrix 2.0 service for August 2012 provided to MarketingProfs, with separate research from comScore Media Metrix service.

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