Today, Seattle-based Simply Measured launched its Instagram analytics tool for both the public, and its enterprise customers. In conjunction with that release, the company made public a study that it executed of the Interbrand 100 firms, concerning their usage of Instagram.

The Interbrand 100, for the uninitiated, is a list of the world’s one hundred most valuable brands. At the top: Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, Google, GE, McDonalds, Intel, and Apple. The blue chip brands, if you will. Here’s what Simply Measured found out:

  • 40% of the Interbrand 100 companies are active on Instagram. This pales compared to the essential lock that Twitter and Facebook have on brand engagement (better than 90%).
  • Big brands have big followings: 35% of the active 40% have 20,000 followers or more, while 8 of the total 100 brands, 20% of the active 40%, have over 100,000 followers.
  • MTV and Starbucks, numbers 55 and 96 on the brand leaderboard, both have nearly 1 million followers.
  • However, in terms of user engagement, Nike and Audi, according to Simply Measured, lead the pack.
  • Finally, 60% of photos uploaded by the active brands employed one of the trademark Instagram filters. Most popular options? The ‘Lo-fi’ and ‘X-Pro II.’

Here’s the kicker on all of this: you can either claim that the figures are impressive, or soft. Instagram is younger, yes, but since the proposed acquisition by Facebook and launch on the Android platform, it has become a household name. That 40% of the top brands, who have social media in their budgets, use the product could therefore be viewed as progress, or an anemic figure.

TNW’s take is somewhere in between. While 40% isn’t exceptionally strong, I suspect that most companies are fishing where they have learned the currents: Facebook and Twitter. From those platforms, determining traffic effects is somewhat simple. Boosted ‘brand awareness’ from Instagram work is more ephemeral.

That in mind, if Instagram isn’t used by 60% of the top 100 brands by the end of the year, I’ll be surprised. Don’t forget what Gary Vaynerchuck said: [Twitter and Facebook] are just tools. So is Instagram, if you are a brand.

Top Image Credit: Kenny Louie