Of all the big four social platforms, Instagram is pulling away from the rest when it comes to sports highlights.
With round the clock sport and wi-fi coverage ranging from underground train stations to Super Bowl stadiums, there is never a shortage of sporting highlights. This means that there is an opportunity and more importantly a demand for the latest and most outrageous clips from any and all arenas and fields.
According to We Are Socials 2017 report, 80% of people are reported as watching videos on mobile in the UK and 79% in the US. Combined with major deals for sports streaming on twitter there is clearly a demand for content and an opportunity for exposure. With such a high level of consumption around the globe there is also stiff competition for the lions share of the audience.
First you have to understand that different social platforms suit different styles of content and each have their own strengths and flaws. However there seems to be one platform rising above the rest for providing sports highlights clips; Instagram. Facebook has an estimated 42 million users in the UK and Instagram only has around 15 million, even given the large gap in total number of users Instagram is dominating the highlights game.
One of the most impressive accounts dedicated to this is House of Highlights and the figures speak for themselves as they have gained over 2.1million followers since January 2016 and also boast the highest interaction rate (2.43%) on the platform.
What makes Instagram so successful in this field is the culture of sharing content with friends, giving it a much wider reach than its organic audience. Another factor is the development of the platform from single photo to short videos and multiple posts. It encourages more direct sharing with interested users via tagging and direct messages compared to everyone on your feed.
Of all sports, basketball best fits Instagram. The shot clock limits players to 24 seconds, cameras are close to the action and a super-human 3-pointer or monster dunks are appealing to even the most casual fan. The NBA understands this, and has 21.6 million Instagram followers to show for it.
I think Instagram has become the quintessential storytelling platform for us.
says Melissa Brenner, the league’s senior vice president of digital media. “Of all the platforms, one could argue that Instagram is perhaps one of the most artistic and visually appealing. We’re able to—whether its short form highlights or photos—tell a really interesting linear narrative.”
Given the pace at which digital media consumption is growing, who knows what is possible or what new platform might arise. Remember Facebook acquired Instagram for $1bn after just one year in existence and Instagram didn’t even add video until four years ago. Also league and governing bodies have relaxed their views on the sharing of content on social media after facing backlash from teams amongst a dispute with broadcasters.
For now Instagram is locked in at the dominant platform for sports highlights content and shows no sign of slowing down.
Deputy Editor & Social Media Specialist