How The Music World Flocked To Instagram In 2016

No longer just a place to share pretty photos of sunsets, the social media platform figured out how to appeal to musicians and their fans.

How The Music World Flocked To Instagram In 2016
Beyoncé, Kanye West, Selena Gomez, Gorillaz [Source Photos: Beyonce: Flickr user Franklin Heijnen, Kanye West: Flickr user Peter Hutchins, Selena Gomez: Flickr user tofoli.douglas, Gorillaz: Tylerxg1/Wikimedia Commons]

Many social media networks have tried and failed to become the go-to platform for musicians to engage with their fans. Remember Twitter #Music or Facebook Mentions? Are any musicians using Snapchat other than DJ Khaled?


But while others have fallen short in capturing the music world, Instagram has taken a series of small steps to turn its once photo-driven service into a creative haven where artists tease new music, reveal album artwork, announce tour dates, and offer intimate behind-the-scenes glimpses. To cite just a few of those steps, over the past year, the platform has extended the length of video posts to 60 seconds, introduced Instagram Stories (and later included the ability to add web links and tags, unlike its rival Snapchat Stories), and hired Lauren Wirtzer Seawood, Beyoncé’s former digital guru, as head of music partnerships.

Instagram shared with Fast Company a compilation of year-end data that highlights the company’s continued evolution and focus in the music space. Among the most significant: Five out of the 10 most-followed Instagram accounts are music accounts. Kanye West, the once prolific tweeter, joined Instagram in 2016, as did the Gorillaz, who used Instagram Stories to announce its first album in five years. And unsurprisingly, Beyoncé dominated the platform after using it to announce both the “Formation” video and the Lemonade visual album. See below for other highlights on the artists and songs most mentioned on Instagram throughout the year.

Top 10 Music Artists Who Gained The Most Followers On Instagram In 2016:

1.Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) – Gained more than 50 million followers
2.Ariana Grande (@ariangrande) – Gained more than 40 million followers
3.Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) – Gained more than 38.3 million followers
4.Beyoncé (@beyonce) – Gained more than 37 million followers
5.Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) – Gained more than 29 million followers
6.Katy Perry (@katyperry) – Gained more than 25.1 million followers
7.Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) – Gained more than 24.3 million followers
8.Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) – Gained more than 22 million followers
9.Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) – Gained more than 20 million followers
10.Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) – Gained more than 18 million followers


The year’s most-Instagrammed music festivals:

2.Ultra Music Festival
3.Glastonbury Festival
4.Fuji Rock Festival
5.SXSW Music

Artists with the most Instagram mentions in 2016:

1.Selena Gomez
2.One Direction
5.Ariana Grande
6.Twenty One Pilots
7.Taylor Swift
12.Jennifer Lopez
13.Kanye West

Songs with the most mentions on Instagram in 2016:

1.“Formation” – Beyoncé
2.“Sorry” – Justin Bieber
3.“Work” – Rihanna ft. Drake
4.“Ride” – Twenty One Pilots
5.“Pillowtalk” – Zayn
6.“Perfect” – One Direction
7.“Heathens” – Twenty One Pilots
8.“Hello” – Adele
9.“My Boo” – Ghost Town DJ’s
10.“Panda” – Desiigner
11.“Love Yourself” – Justin Bieber
12.“Stitches” – Shawn Mendes
13.“Dangerous Woman” – Ariana Grande
14.“Sorry” – Beyoncé
15.“Purple Rain” – Prince
16.“Youth” – Troye Sivan
17.“WOW” – Beck
18.“Stressed Out” – Twenty One Pilots
19.“Starman” – David Bowie
20.“Confident” – Demi Lovato
21.“Hype” – Drake
22.“Into You” – Ariana Grande
23.“Controlla” – Drake
24.“Rise” – Katy Perry
25.“Company” – Justin Bieber


Music Fan Armies That Were The Most Active On Instagram In 2016:

1.Selenators (Selena Gomez)
2.Team Drake (Drake)
3.Beyhive (Beyoncé)
4.Arianators (Ariana Grande)
5.Harmonizers (Fifth Harmony)
6.Little Monsters (Lady Gaga)
7.Barbz (Nicki Minaj)
8.Swifties (Taylor Swift)
9.Directioners (One Direction)
10.Rihanna Navy (Rihanna)

Global Music Genres That Were The Most Popular Among Music Fans On Instagram In 2016:

2.Hip-hop / Rap
4.Electronic / EDM
6.Samba & Pagode


About the author

J.J. McCorvey is a staff writer for Fast Company, where he covers business and technology.