Instagram now has over 2 billion monthly active users


One billion users isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? 2 billion users.

Instagram now has more than 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, according to CNBC. The information was provided by anonymous Instagram employees.

When did Instagram reach this figure? About a week before Facebook changed its name to Meta, according to sources. The name change took place in October, by the way.

It took 8 years for Instagram to reach a billion users. Three years later, the social networking app added another billion users. In comparison, Facebook grew by only 30% over the same three-year period.

Why we care: Many of us advertise on Instagram, so it’s helpful to know the total addressable market. With TikTok recently surpassing a billion users, we all thought that Instagram was on the decline. This report shows this is far from the case.


TikTok is helping songs make it to the Billboard Hot 100

If there was a brag award for social media networks, TikTok would undoubtedly win.

The social network recently released their “Year on TikTok 2021 Music Report,” in which they claim to be the “dominant force in music and the music industry in 2021.”

Around 430 songs reached 1 billion video views as TikTok sounds in 2021, according to the company’s data. This was a threefold increase from 2020. In addition, the most popular songs exceeded 20 billion views on the videos that used them as soundtracks.

How about outside of TikTok? 175 of songs that trended on TikTok in 2021 also ranked in Billboard’s Hot 100. Damn.

It’s not just songs: We previously talked about “BookTok,” or how TikTok helps drive book sales. TikTok has also worked for SaaS.

What this means for you: As TikTok grows in popularity, we’re learning that it can be used to promote not only traditional e-commerce products, but also (e)books, music, and software.


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Do links still matter for SEO?


Have external links lost their importance? Do they still matter for rankings?

If you’re into SEO, you saw this debate gaining more and more popularity in the last few years.

And Patrick Stox decided to make a test with the Ahrefs website and see if their external links still contributed to SEO rankings and traffic.

They picked three articles and disavowed all links to these pages for a month. This resulted in removing the value of 3,476 links across three blog posts.

The experiment lasted one month from August 17 to September 14. Afterward, the external links have been restored by eliminating the disavowed file.

Here’s what happened to the three pages:

Page #1: “Top YouTube Searches (2021)”

This page lost 18% of search traffic in the month during the experiment. And it went down 4% even after restoring the links.

At this moment, it has recovered only 50% of that traffic.

Page #2: “SEO Pricing: ~350 Agencies, Consultants, and Freelancers Reveal How Much SEO Costs”

When the external links were disavowed, the page lost 13.3% of its traffic. But it recovered 99% of it when the disavow file was eliminated.

The competition for this page was weak, and this is probably why they quickly recovered the loss.

Page #3: “Top Bing Searches (2021)”

Since the competition was high for the search queries targeted by this page, Patrick Stox expected a big loss.

Yet, when they discarded the external links, there was barely any traffic drop.

But an interesting thing happened: When they activated the external links, the traffic shot up by 44%.

Bottom line? Links do matter.

As Patrick Stox affirms, they still have to recover from the traffic loss caused by this experiment.

And you should disavow pages with caution, since Google nowadays mostly devalues bad links for you.


Not using a product page, but still crushing it


Athletic Greens is an absolute masterclass in a one-product, subscription-based e-commerce brand. Here are two insights from the almost 100-page deep dive:

  • They don’t use product pages. It’s all on their homepage, and it seems to work really well.
  • They don’t upsell. Not in the classic sense, anyway. They only do it after the sales process. We showed the details in our full deep dive.

We’ve put out 10% of all the insights from this deep dive for free in this preview. Have a look at how Athletic Greens crushes it!

And if you want the full deep dive, subscribe to Insights!


Three of The Crew’s biggest newsletter growth fails


You are going to want to sit down for this one because we will tell you about some serious growth fails we’ve had here at Stacked Marketer. It’s important to learn from success but it’s also important to learn from failures.

1. Affiliate World Asia 2018

We were the WiFi sponsor of the conference, which cost us $15k. There were also four of us traveling there. All in all, it cost us about $25k

The results: Less than 50 new subscribers and about $10k in new sponsors booked.

Why it failed: The WiFi flow didn’t point to our homepage so getting subscribers was possible at the booth only.

2. Facebook Ads

We haven’t given up on this (or paid social in general) but for now, FB Ads goes second on our list of failures.

We’ve spent over $10k on tests, which sometimes looked promising but then fizzled out.

Why it failed: The main reason is probably choosing the wrong conversion event. We triggered a conversion when someone signed up. This resulted in around 70% of signups at the peak being inactive from the very beginning.

3. Our iPhone 13 giveaway

Giveaways are usually pretty good but with this one, we failed. The results were almost twice as bad as the average giveaway.

Why it failed: We didn’t put the giveaway in a prominent space and it got lost in the bottom where our usual “Share” section is.


INSTAGRAM: What’s likely to be trending in 2022? Instagram published their first “Trend Report” for 2022 with some answers.

SEO: What are clustered news results? Bill Slawski examined this Google patent in an attempt to solve the mystery.

PINTEREST: Following Instagram, Pinterest has also added a reply-to-comment feature to their platform.

SNAPCHAT: Whoa Snapchat has paid out $250 million to 12,000 creators in one year. We’ll let you figure out how much that is per creator.

INSTAGRAM: Creating Instagram filters is a pain in the neck. Facebook has just released a simplified version of their “Spark AR” software in closed beta, with a simplified workflow for creating artificial reality effects.


Which type of cheese is made backwards?

You can find the solution here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

And just like that…he’s alive


Talk about turning a crisis into a viral video.

The backstory: A sequel of the legendary series “Sex and the City” debuted on Thursday. In one scene, the actor Chris Noth dubbed “Mr. Big,” died unexpectedly from a heart attack after completing his 1000th Peloton ride.

What would you do if you were Peloton? After the scene went viral, the company’s stock tumbled.

Peloton was quick to react in the best way possible. Within 48 hours, they released a video with “Mr. Big,” reminding us that he’s, well, still alive. And also that riding bikes is good for your health.

The video not only rebooted “Mr. Big’s” life, but Peloton’s stock as well.

Some claim that Peloton was faster with a response than Carrie was with dialing 911.

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