Instagram VS Facebook – Which is the Best Social Network in 2019?



Welcome ladies and gentlemen, for the main event of the evening. Today we will be comparing Instagram VS Facebook with the aim of finding out Which is the best social Network in 2019.




In the blue corner, a leading social media network with an algorithm powerful enough to make you sign up to just about anything. Please make some noise for… FACEBOOK!

And in the red corner, it can make your significant other scroll for hours on end, causing them to forget you are even there. The challenger, the underdog, here’s INSTAGRAM!

They are both owned by Marky Zuckerberg so this fight is pretty much pointless, but oh well, here it is. Instagram Versus Facebook, may the best social media win!



Round 1: Which social network has the most users?


According to digital information world Facebook is still the second biggest Social Network in terms of active users. Instagram comes in at the 4th position in terms of active users. So Facebook gets the win in the first round.

Source: digital information world

However, according to target internet, Instagram’s growth rate from 2017 to 2018 was more than double the growth rate of Facebook. Therefore, it probably won’t be long before Instagram surpasses Facebook in terms of total active users.



Round 2: Which social network has the most engagement?


*For noobs: Engagement represents all the activity that posts receive such likes, saves, shares, follows, profile clicks & website clicks.

Because every business is so different, so engagement might vary based on each industry. It’s best to look at the engagement of different industries on both Instagram and Facebook to get more in-depth insights.

According to Rival IQ’s 2018 data, Facebook gets absolutely smashed when it comes to the engagement rate for brand accounts.

Looking at the charts below, the median across all industries on Facebook is a 0.16% engagement rate, whereas on Instagram it’s 1.73%.

Instagram clearly does a much better job at getting brands the engagement they so desperately seek.

The reason Facebook’s reach is so rubbish nowadays is that it wants to become more meaningful for users. And to do this, Facebook decided to boost the reach of Friends and Family posts on the platform, which comes at the expense of Brands, who have seen their reach metrics hugely decreased since the update.

Instagram wins this round, but as it owned by Facebook, there’s a high chance it will follow in Facebook’s footsteps to improve the “social” experience.



Round 3: Which social network has the best reach (CPM)? ran a study in 2019 that shows how much it costs to get 1000 impressions (the CPM) for each social network.

The results show that the CPM on Facebook is $9.06 whereas on Instagram it is $6.70. This means you can reach over 30% more people on Instagram rather than on Facebook for the same budget.

We actually did a lot of testing on this for our clients, and it’s definitely true. Once we determined that Instagram was the winner, we then tested Instagram feed ads against Instagram story ads. And the Stories format performed even better, and we managed to bring down the CPM to below $2:



Round 4: Which social network has the best ROI?


In this final round, we look at the most important aspect of social media, the ROI (return on investment). Unfortunately, we did not find any public data on this so we’ll have to decide the winner based on the testing we have done for all our clients.

For all the companies that we have tested Facebook ads VS Instagram ads for, we found that Instagram took the win every time. To be more exact the placement that outperformed by far all the other was the Instagram Story ads.

For our most recent test campaigns, the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) was only £7 per user signup with Instagram story ads. Instagram feed ads had a CPA of £10 and on Facebook, the CPA was £12, which is significantly higher! The clear winner of this round, for us at least, is Instagram.

The referee, Bruce Buffer, calls the fight of the social media titans to an end.

It seems we have a clear winner, with 3 out 4 rounds won, Instagram is victorious!

We’ve seen that in 2019, Instagram really packs a punch, especially with its stories format, which has proven to have a record low CPM and CPA. As far as our campaigns go, we’ve started to shift budget from Facebook to Instagram, as the benefits and ROI are very clear.


If you would like to speak to one of our Paid Media experts please click here to get in touch.

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Giovanni Perri

About Giovanni Perri

Giovanni is the co-founder of The Growth Hustlers. His years of experience in marketing – and growth marketing in particular – have helped many businesses find and accelerate growth using his data-driven approach.

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