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Instagram continues to gain steam with the world's top brands, new research shows.
The number of businesses using Instagram grew 9 percent in the last quarter of 2012, outpacing all other social networks except Pinterest, a study by social media analytics firm Simply Measured revealed. In total, 59 percent of the companies in the Interbrand 100 — which ranks business based on financial status, how the brand influences purchasing decisions and how strong the brand is — are now using Instagram, up from 54 percent last October.
Brands are doing much more than just joining the social network. The study discovered that 41 percent of businesses now post at least one photo per week, up from 34 percent in 2012.
That increased activity by businesses is helping drive their number of followers. The research shows that over the last quarter of the year, followers of the companies in the Interbrand 100 increased by 41 percent, reaching a total of 5.8 million users.
In addition, the number of brands with more than 100,000 followers increased from eight to 10, led by MTV, Starbucks and Nike. Other brands with more than 100,000 fans include Adidas and Ralph Lauren.
Simply Measured CEO Adam Schoenfeld said that with 90 million followers, Instagram is proving to be a powerful channel for companies trying to engage their customers.
"Now that the platform is maturing, it is no longer just about adoption," Schoenfeld said. "Instead, brands need to pay close attention to how their followers are responding, and make the necessary adjustments to capture their attention and realize the full potential of this powerful network."
The research discovered that Facebook is playing a large role in Instagram's success. Nearly 100 percent of the photos posted by the top brands are shared on Facebook, with each picture resulting in an average of 274 likes, comments, Tweets and Facebook shares.