NEW YORK: A majority of the world's biggest brands now have a presence on Instagram, the photo-sharing social media service, new figures show.

Simply Measured, the insights provider, found that 54 of the globe's 100 most valuable brands, as ranked by Interbrand, were using the Facebook-owned social media platform in November 2012.

This figure could be compared with totals of 98 for both Facebook and Twitter, ahead of 67 for Google+. Pinterest, another social site gaining rapid traction, recorded a score of 63 here.

But Instagram logged the highest growth rate, up by 35% from August 2012, topping a 24% lift for Pinterest, a 5% leap for Google+ and the 4% jump generated by Twitter, while Facebook was flat.

"The modest photo-sharing app started 2012 with 15m users. Nine months later, they've cracked 100m and continue to grow," the study said. "Instagram has graduated from a 'fun new social network' to an integral component for marketing in the social space."

More specifically, the analysis discovered that 49 of the brands assessed had an active Instagram account, while five were not currently making posts despite having created a profile.

In terms of followers, some 18% of brands had attracted over 20k fans, versus 14% in August, and 8% could boast of having surpassed the 100k mark, unchanged since earlier this year.

MTV, the music channel, had most followers on 995k, ahead of Starbucks, the coffee house chain, on 877k. Burberry, the fashion label, came next on 557k, with Nike, the sports group, on 527k.

Gucci, the luxury firm, had 217k fans, while Tiffany & Co, the retailer, possessed 208k. These brands enjoyed the strongest quarterly growth among the top players, up by 82% and 101% respectively.

Audi, the automaker, had accrued 172k fans, the study added, beating GE, the conglomerate, on a more modest 138k.

Turning to engagement levels, MTV had secured 2.3m "likes" and 43k comments from 546 photos. Nike's 473 images had delivered roughly the same number of likes, and 28k pieces of feedback.

Audi was in third here, after received 1.1m likes and 21k responses from 377 images. Burberry had the greatest amount of uploads, on 697, collectively generating 28k replies and 822k likes.

Based on a sample of 2,533 images, it was also reported that 93% of Instagram images where shared on Facebook, garnering 210 "likes" or comments apiece. Exactly 60% were shared on Twitter, yielding 26 tweets each.

Data sourced from Simply Measured; additional content by Warc staff