Sharing Decline Blurs Instagram’s Picture

Five times as many people now use Instagram as did in 2013. But despite that strong growth, Instagram has seen a worrisome trend. Between 2013 and 2015, the number of photos shared on average by each Instagram user fell, said two people briefed on the app’s internal data.

And just as its parent Facebook has been trying to reverse a drop in how much people share about their lives on the social network, Instagram has to figure out how to deal with the decline in “sharing” on its service. Otherwise over time people may gradually visit Instagram less and gravitate to rival apps, particularly Snapchat, which in the past year or two has gotten much more buzz than Instagram.

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—Amir Efrati contributed to this article


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Instagram’s recent switch to an algorithm-based personalized feed was partly aimed at combating the sharing decline.