Social Media Growth Report 2020: Which factors impact the growth of YouTube channels and Instagram accounts?

Covid-19 interrupted business activities around the globe, and many companies, especially those focused on brick-and-mortar stores, had to pause their work. But there are also some winners in this crisis – one of them is social media. People spend more time at home and use social media platforms to keep themselves entertained and informed. To see how Instagram and YouTube have been impacted over the past months, we took a deep dive into the follower growth on Instagram and YouTube and collected our findings in our Social Media Growth Report 2020.

For our Social Media Growth Report, we analyzed more than 660k Instagram accounts and 100k YouTube channels globally. While Instagram covers data from January 1, 2019, until June 1, 2020, the YouTube analysis focuses on January 1 to June 1, 2020. 

YouTube Follower Growth

The video platform YouTube experienced a strong subscriber growth from February to April, slowing down in May. The average subscriber growth rate of the past months is 2.4%. While categories like nonprofits, activism, and politics were the strongest growing ones, entertainment and music cover the largest part of the platform.

YouTube subscriber growth

Many new subscribers come from Asian countries e.g. India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Germany, however, is one of the slowest growing countries with 12%.

Nearly 50% of YouTube accounts are mid-tier channels. Are they the ones with the highest growth? No – nano influencers are! They don’t yet reach as high a subscriber number as other large channels do but they still perform well when it comes to follower growth. The performance of celebrity channels and personalities remains the highest one with an average absolute growth of more than 372k subscribers.

Learn more about YouTube metrics in our YouTube Benchmarks Report!

Instagram Follower Growth

Instagram‘s average follower growth rate for the past 18 months is 32.5%, which remained quite stable during the past few months. There has been no remarkable peak since the coronavirus crisis emerged. Sports and Fashion & Style are the largest categories on Instagram, while TV & Movie accounts count the highest follower growth. 

Learn more about Instagram metrics in our Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report!

We also took a look at the growth based on Audience Quality, which is an InfluencerDB-exclusive metric that describes the quality of a channel in regard to engagement and other factors and rates channels from A to F. While accounts with a high quality following easily gain new followers, those with a low Audience Quality have a hard time attracting new followers, and oftentimes even lose followers.

Instagram follower growth

How often should an Instagram influencer post content? The more frequent, the better! Influencers who share posts regularly receive higher visibility on the platform, resulting in stronger follower growth.

Are you curious to see all findings? Download the full Social Media Growth Report here: