Facebook vs. Instagram

Facebook or Instagram. Everyone seems to want you to pick a favorite as if one were better than the other. But is that really true? Is one platform better than the other?

Not in our opinion. Actually, for us, Facebook and Instagram are like peanut butter and jelly. Both are good on their own but, oh, how beautiful they are when they work together.

The Differences

The main differences between Facebook and Instagram are the type of content each platform presents and the people who are using them. Facebook wants to be your one-stop shop for all things social and offers a variety of post options but Instagram has always been all about the image.

vWhen it comes to who’s using what, Facebook is the obvious winner in total users. Data shows that most millennials use both platforms while the older crowds (50+) find Facebook more appealing than the under 18 crowd who use both platforms but favor Instagram. Another interesting difference? The amount of Facebook users categorized by household income is nearly equal across all categories while the income of Instagram users varies. Check out the graphs in this San Francisco Gate blog for a detailed look at users by household income.

Other differences between Facebook and Instagram that are pretty important when it comes to marketing are brand engagement and content. When it comes to brand engagement, Instagram is the clear winner with Facebook averaging less than 1% of the number of likes per post a brand receives on Instagram. For instance, in 2016, McDonald’s likes per posts averaged around 19,885 on Instagram while they received a mere 789 likes for the same post on Facebook.

But just because Instagram seems like the clear winner when it comes to engagement, the winner of the race for reach isn’t so clear. Globally speaking, Facebook has the ability to reach far more people. Instagram is most popular in the United States but it hasn’t quite caught on like Facebook has in other parts of the world. In fact, India has surpassed the U.S. in the number of users on Facebook with 250 million users compared to our 230 million. Facebook users in other countries almost double the number of Instagrammers.


After reading some of these statistics it seems like Facebook is the now and Instagram is the future. But Facebook is a teenager now, celebrating 15 years of the social network this year while Instagram is still a year shy of celebrating double-digit anniversaries. Facebook has shown year after year its ability to weather social media storms and we think it’s here to stay for a long, long time.

Facebook’s longevity and endurance through the ever-changing social media and digital media worlds along with its unmatched tools for social integration are clear reasons to not only keep the social media giant in your tool belt but to also combine its forces with Instagram, rather than choose one or the other. In our opinion, it would be a disservice to businesses who have reason to reach clients of all age and gender groups. So if Marie Kondo has inspired you to take inventory and clean out what doesn’t spark joy for your business’s marketing strategy, don’t toss out Facebook or Instagram just yet. Instead, develop a strategy to combine the power of these two sources and create something awesome. Kind of like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Without the crusts.v

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