That’s according to the latest data from Sensor Tower, which has published its Q4 2021 app performance tracking report, which shows that Instagram had its best quarter for downloads since 2014, with app installs rising 10% over Q3.
As you can see here, TikTok, which has led the download charts for the past two years running, was still in high demand, but Instagram saw a big boost on Android, which was largely led by Indian users.
As per this chart, 39% of Instagram’s downloads in Q4 came from India, where Meta has been pushing Instagram as the best alternative for TikTok, which, at one stage, had more than 200 million Indian users, before it was banned by the Indian Government due a border dispute with China.
The growth of Instagram in India offers new opportunities in a key growth market for Meta. The company has been working to build its presence in the region for years, and tap into the nation’s 1.4 billion people, which is now the second-largest smartphone market in the world, trailing only China.
India’s digital transition is still in a relatively early phase, and if Meta can get in now, it stands to glean significant benefit from that presence, and Instagram now looks to be providing a key connector to its various offerings, including business discovery, eCommerce, and more.
And it also helps to boost Instagram’s overall numbers, as TikTok continues to rival the app for young user attention – though it is also worth noting that TikTok was still the most downloaded app on iOS by a long way.
From a digital marketing perspective, that means that despite Instagram’s overall growth, TikTok is still likely the key app of focus for young users in your region. But it is worth noting Instagram’s continued rise, which could eventually see more developmental focus on the Indian market, and creating products and features aligned with Indian use.
For the full year, TikTok led the way in global downloads across both app stores, with Facebook and Instagram taking the second and third spots respectively.
Clearly, TikTok has a strong hold on user attention, but don’t let that fool you into writing off IG just yet, which could still reclaim the overall top spot for young audiences moving forward.
You can download Sensor Tower’s Q4 app performance report here.