Instagram responded to the popularity of music-related accounts on its app in April this year with the release of @music, the app’s official music account aimed at connecting users to new and prevailing talents.
CEO Kevin Systrom explained that the purpose of @music is to focus on musicians who are already using the app and to, “feature off-the-beaten path, hard-to-find accounts.”
Because many users log on to the app to post pictures of their recent experiences at live music performances, @music’s addition was a natural development. Systrom was actually surprised at the interest, however, “We never knew music would take off in the way it did but now 25% of our top [most followed] accounts are music related. We realized there’s this whole community of interesting bands and musicians on Instagram so that’s what the @music account is all about”.
The @music account is updated six times a week with musician interviews in addition to self-submitted photographs by the various musicians. Some of the current hashtag labels relating to the account’s launch include #15SecondLessons—short instructionals on music performance—and #LocallySourced, which is devoted to unsigned artists.
Instagram may succeed where Twitter failed, after the debut of its own #Music service in 2013. #Music was a standalone app with an unfamiliar interface. That, coupled with its lack of integration with streaming services like Spotify, ultimately led to its lack of followers.
The @music account currently has less than 500,000 followers five months after its April launch. For comparison, the app’s most followed accounts have numbers in excess of 40 million, with Taylor Swift claiming the top spot at over 49 million.
Five years after its initial launch, Instagram’s over 400 million-strong user base continues to grow, in contrast to Twitter’s stalled numbers. Users will have to spread some of the attention they currently devote to blockbuster talents like Beyonce and Selena Gomez in order for @music to be considered a success, however.