Instagram Growth Hack: Using the Web to Drive Mobile Downloads

by Rishi Shah on June 5, 2012

Have you seen Instagram’s personalized landing pages? I’m not talking about their homepage. I’m talking about every single picture that is shared on the web. Check it out:

Photo Credit

You Can Only Do Three Things

1. Download the app

2. Share It

3. Close the page

Instagram could have easily created a web based social network and asked people to sign up on the web, but they didn’t. Instead they focused on getting you to download their app. Which is pretty brilliant since Facebook already had the web based photo social network thing covered.

First Interactions

I spoke to Adam Nash last week and he said something very insightful that I just had to share with you. He talked about thinking about the first interaction that your potential user interacts with. In most cases it isn’t your website – it is an email referral, Facebook share, or landing page view. In Instagram’s case your first interaction was seeing your friends photo, and since you can’t zoom or see more pictures all you can really do is download the app to see more.

Nobody Likes to Be Sold

What is so amazing about the Instagram photo landing pages is that the call to actions are so non obtrusive. They  simply suggest that you should download the app or share it, they don’t force it on you with an annoying pop-up. Here is a close up screen shot of the Download Call-To-Action.

I’d love to get your thoughts on this Growth Hack – let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to learn about airbnb’s growth hack, download it here.

-> Click here to read my report on AirBnB’s Growth Hack <-

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{ 12 comments }

Cory June 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

this is an amazing article! So obvious to me now that you detailed it out. Pure Genius!

Rishi Shah June 5, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Thanks Cory!

Allison June 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM

For a really long time Instagram didn’t even have comments or share icons. They just had the picture and a download the app button.

Rishi Shah June 5, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Hey Allison – yes, that is so true. Do you happen to have a screen shot? I’d love to see it.

Chris Pritchard June 7, 2012 at 5:22 AM

Thanks, that some great insight. Limiting the actions a user takes will certainly help with conversions. We’re doing something similar at http://www.timegears.com. Above the fold, you don’t see much to do except a button. The way we structured our text leads them right to it :)

Rishi Shah June 7, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Hi Chris – Your landing page is awesome!

But I think your headline needs some work “It’s 9:09am, and you can focus on this customer while the rest are booking with us.” -> I don’t really know what that means.

Chris Pritchard June 8, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Hey Rishi, thanks a lot! I agree we’ve got some work regarding our copy writing :)

We only recently did that redesign, and that’s one of the areas we’re planning to circle back to. The cool thing is that depending on the time of day, the background, and the headline changes.

We were recently honored in a webinar by brainrider.com and wistia.com called “Developing Customer-Centric Content”, which can be seen here: http://home.wistia.com/m/q84oZc

We’ll ping you back when we gussy it up a bit. I suppose since it meets your “awesome” criteria, we’d not be offended if you did a post on it later :-)

fryan June 7, 2012 at 6:24 AM

is it me or the word “free” is same as the logo “free” from free.fr
Because I’m living in France, when I read this, I understand: download the free(the company ISPs/mobile operator) app. So will I be able to check my email/vocal message/data count on this app ? I don’t know, I just clicked on my friend that twited this website.

Arnaud June 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Thanks Rishi, that’s brilliant. (By the way, yes, the “free” looks like the French company’s logo. I’m surprised.)

תוכנית-עסקית June 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Very smart! It reminds me of Friendter, the first wide-spread social network, back in 2002. Their homepage/landing-page was plain white and grey. It basically had only 2 options – sign-up or log-in. That’s it. You came to the page, saw some pictures connected and were reluctant to sign-up. Their conversion was great and that’s why they were so viral. Simplicity and lack of choices = growth.
My 2cents

Jindou September 4, 2012 at 12:39 AM

Awesome! I was looking for this cos we are doing some re-designs and creating a similar page for non-mobile device users. Do you know anyone else doing this?

Rishi Shah September 4, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I don’t know any off hand. But I’m sure there are plenty.

Look at any High Growth apps on the iPhone app store. Keep me posted if you see anything awesome.

Rishi

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