The photo-sharing site saw a 23% jump in active users over 2013 while its parent company, Facebook, saw a 3% drop.
Facebook is still head and shoulders above all other social media platforms -- it is still by far the most popular and widely used social network across the globe. However, according to the latest data from international marketing research firm GlobalWebIndex, it's the newer networks where all the action is.
Nielsen's annual list of the most popular smartphone apps in the US over 2013, published in December, highlighted how Instagram had come from nowhere to occupy the number-seven spot with 31,992,000 unique monthly users on iOS and Android devices. GlobalWebIndex's figures, based on a 170,000-respondent survey across 32 countries, reveals that this spike is not confined to North America.
Other social networks surging in popularity over the past 12 months include Reddit (13% growth), LinkedIn (9%) and Pinterest (6%), but Twitter will no doubt be disappointed that although it is attracting more users, the greater numbers equate to just a 2% jump in popularity.
The other key trend that the report highlights is users' migration to apps from the desktop. All major networks that offer an app saw mobile use increase over the course of the year.
One of the more interesting findings of the survey is that on the whole, social networking is most popular among 25-to-34-year-olds -- 29% of Facebook users, 31% of Google+ users, 32% of Pinterest and 31% of Twitter users fall into this category. However, when it comes to Instagram (39%), Tumblr (45%) and YouTube (32%), the biggest users are aged 16-24.