Social Picture Sharing: Instagram nears 60% market share


  • Instagram‘s massive surge in April is likely due to;
    • release of their Android app
    • publicity around the Facebook aquisition
  • Twitpic, Yfrog, Lockerz were already in decline before Instgram’s surge and are flattening out
  • Pinterest (very slowly) increased its share from 1% to 2% for the year to date


The Twitter “spritzer” stream – a random sample approximately 1% of the full firehose – is freely available and I have been collecting it since the new year. Uncertain as to what I wanted to do with the data I simply wrote the raw JSON stream into ~1GB files, compressed them and stored them in Amazon S3.

As of this morning I have 715 million tweets weighing in around 1.6TB of uncompressed JSON data (270GB compressed).

I finally came up with something I wanted from the data, I was interested in extracting links from tweets for a little side-project. A side-effect of that is the market-share of social picture sharing services looked really interesting so I wanted to share! :o)

To extract the data I wrote a simple Elastic Map/Reduce (EMR) job to churn through the compressed JSON archives. Any tweet that featured a link would be parsed for the host-name and counted in date buckets.

Lastly I filtered the list for domains I knew to be social picture sharing services – if I have missed any please shout about it in the comments below. In the case of Yfrog both counts from and were aggregated. Facebook was left out because it was non-trivial to disambiguate what was being linked to (status, pics, videos, apps etc.)

If you are interested in any further information that I can glean from this data, please let me know. I already have a bunch more charts from this dataset I’ll post about later this week.

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