Among the many records broken in the mobile ecosystem last week, Facebook’s Instagram was among them. The photo editing and sharing app proclaimed on Friday that “the day broke all Instagram records as we saw the number of shared photos more than double from the day before, making it our busiest day so far,” according to the company blog.
The activity spiked, as one would expect, in the afternoon. As the East Coast was digesting and the West Coast starting to gather around meal tables, Instagram was hit with 226 Thanksgiving Day tagged photos per second. Overall members shared 10 million holiday images on T-Day.
The best route for monetizing that staggering level of user-generated content and intimate involvement with the service goes on, however. The site last week also offered its own Instagram holiday gift guide, distributing items from third parties that touched the social net’s brand. Picks included an Instagram 35mm slide projector, a calendar of Instagram photos and a wood, cork and leather children’s toy in the image of the app’s iconic icon.
As Instagram integrates more deeply with its parent company Facebook, it has gone through some its own transformations of late. There finally is a Web presence for Instagram accounts, making the images and brand presence more searchable across platforms. Last week Instagram also introduced “badges,” which helps link people to their online Instagram site. Facebook also announced last week that it would share user data with Instagram, suggesting that at some point we will see a fuller integration of profiles and accounts between the two services.
Facebook is just starting to find its way into the e-commerce revenue stream, and a visual network like Instagram may be one of its best bets. Like Pinterest, Instagram is custom made for people to show off and share their favorite goods, and to do so at the point of purchase. Facebook perhaps could use some help in leveraging e-commerce. According to IBM Smarter Commerce and its analysis of Thanksgiving Day online purchasing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites were responsible for a meager .2% of referrals on Thanksgiving.