The number of female models’ official Instagram accounts has gone up more than 500% in the past five years, according to a new study by social media analytics company Social Media Metrics.
The increase comes amid a broader trend toward more female-centric content in the digital space.
In a post on Medium, the company found that in the first quarter of 2017, female models had 7.5 million followers, up from 4.3 million in the same quarter last year.
The company also said the rise in female models has coincided with a trend toward female-oriented brands.
According to the company, the growth rate in the accounts of female brands has more than doubled over the past year.
“We have noticed a significant increase in the number of male-focused brands posting content on Instagram,” says Nicole Williams, the lead social media analyst at Social Media Interactions.
“For example, the brand that launched their Instagram account this year has a whopping 30,000 followers, and their brand ambassador account is now on the front page of Instagram for the first time in their brand’s history.”
Female models are often the target of harassment and death threats, but Williams says the increase in popularity of female-focused content could be tied to the fact that the women are now allowed to be themselves on the platform.
“With more women being allowed to express themselves in more places, it seems like a natural evolution,” she says.
“The trend towards more female content on social media has certainly made a lot of women more visible and accessible.”
Williams says it’s important to note that the Instagram accounts of women who are celebrities aren’t necessarily the ones that are creating the most impact for women.
“Some of the more well-known women who have more Instagram accounts have very specific interests and motivations for their account,” she adds.
“It doesn’t mean that those are the women that are generating the most content, or even that they’re the ones who are creating content that is most impactful for women.”
Williams believes the rise of female influencers on the social media platform is an example of how social media can serve women and their brands.
“As more women have access to social media, they can create more compelling content for themselves and for their brands,” she explains.
“If we can have more women in the industry and more female influencer accounts, that means that we have more people that are able to connect with brands and advertisers.”