Instagram vs. Twitter Photos at SXSW

On Sunday, Instagram announced the long awaited Android app at SXSW, which could double the Instagram install base.

With such an exciting announcement, we wanted to have a look at the current photo sharing trends of Instagram users. And what better place to do this than than at SXSW? We thought it would be even more interesting to compare it to its photosharing competitor at SXSW, Twitter, which since some months ago allows you to upload directly to Twitter and more recently has become even easier to share photos thanks to the native iOS integration. To conduct this study we captured all of the photos shared with relevant hashtags (e.g. #SXSW, #SXSWi) by the two services from March 9 – March 13 with their respective APIs.

So here you go, below is a breakdown of which service was the most popular to capture at share photos during the weekend.

SXSW Photo Comparison

Some highlights:

  • About 63K photos were shared in Austin during the weekend with SXSW related hashtags (Pixable had actually created a real-time photofeed showing all these photos on our app).
  • Of those, 42K photos were uploaded directly on Twitter (i.e., 65%) , vs. ~22K uploaded to Instagram (i.e., 35%).
  • The ratio of Twitter photos to Instagram is 2:1

Given that Instagram was just announced for Android, and its current traction on iOS – they went from 15MM to 27MM installs in less than 6 months- we wouldn’t be surprised if next year the ratio changes and Instagram surpasses Twitter (despite the iOS native integration to share photos directly on Twitter).

Nevertheless, note that a high percentage of photos uploaded to Instagram are eventually shared as a Tweet as well. Therefore on Twitter (and obviously, at Pixable) you can still consume most of the photos (independently of whether they were stored on Twitter or Instagram).


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About Pixable Team

Welcome to the Pixable Blog! Here you can read up on the latest in photography trends, internet phenomena, and Pixable news. We've also got some great photography tutorials, photo contests, and more to help you get the most out of your camera, and have a groovy time doing it!

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