Case Study: Instagram Usage in Milan

Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms worldwide. To better understand how it’s being used in countries other than the U.S., we took a snapshot of 3,000 pieces of media coming out of Milan, Italy, home to the upcoming World's Fair. This European city is budding with history and beauty, and of course, people capturing it all with social media. To get our sample set, we employed our own proprietary Instagram monitoring tool, Citypulse. Using Instagram’s API, this tool pulled 3,000 pieces of geotagged media published within the city limits of Milan.The following are some of the interesting findings we noticed.

Milan users have lots of followers

It was startling to see how many Instagram users in Milan had well over 1,000 followers. The graph below shows the distribution of followers, but as you can see, over 25% of users have over 1,000 followers. That’s pretty impressive for a random sample set. It's even more impressive when we see that almost 1/3 of the users had over 500 followers.

Our POV: Users with influence are taking pictures in Milan. We can see from this sample, it’s more than just people taking selfies for their friends to see. They’re creating media to appeal to a wider audience.

Milan users tag their media

60% of the media collected used only a hashtag, and 15% using only a handle. However, 63% of the media contained at least a hashtag or handle.

Our POV: Considering the large number of users with significant followings, this hashtag usage is to be expected. More and more, people are understanding the need to add a discovery tag (a hashtag or a handle) to get more eyes on their media.

The smallest group of users in Milan are posting the most

Surprisingly, the group with the smallest distribution of followers (500-1,000 followers) have posted the most media on average. Users with more than 1,000 followers were a distant second in the amount of media posted to their accounts.

Our POV: It makes sense that users with more than 1,000 followers would have posted a lot of media. It takes time to accumulate that many followers. But interestingly, the users with 500-1,000 followers are posting the most out of any group. This could be because those users are trying hard to reach the 1,000 follower threshold, and therefore are creating lots of media to get more followers. Whereas, the group that has 1,000+ followers may be posting less, but higher quality media that taps into their current user base much more efficiently and gains more followers per post.

In Conclusion

Cities like Milan are great incubators for content creators because of the majestic architecture and beautiful surroundings. After taking a look at just a small sample set of media, it’s easy to tell that this city has some influential media creators within its streets. By analyzing this data , we found that discovery tags are crucial to building followers, the amount of media posted overall by a user does not necessarily correlate to the most followers, and the number of followers per user are surprisingly large.

Our Citypulse tool gives brands the opportunity to understand what media is being created in certain geographic areas around the world. How could you utilize its capabilities to help achieve your brand’s goals? Let us know in the comments!