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40 percent of world's top brands already on Instagram

The young photo-sharing service counts nearly half of the Interbrand 100 among its active users, according to a new study.

If you're still wondering why Instagram appealed to Facebook, consider how many of the world's top 100 brands are already on the photo-sharing service.

Some 40 percent of the Interbrand 100 -- the world's most popular brands -- are active on the young service, according to a study released today by Simply Measured. The study of how the brands were used on Instagram was released in conjunction with the debut of a new Instagram analytics tool.

While that's nowhere near Facebook's 98 percent adoption rate or Twitter's 94 percent, Simply Measured points out that Instagram started 2011 with 15 million users and now has 80 million users. Instagram, which launched in October 2010, is expected to hit the 100 million user mark this fall, while Facebook took four years to hit that mark and Twitter five years, Simply Measured said.

"This aggressive growth has provided a massive marketing opportunity and top brands are taking that seriously," Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of Simply Measured, wrote on the company's blog today.

The Interbrand companies already on Instagram have an audience of 3 million users, while the top 10 brands already have 96 percent engagement. Seventeen of the brands have more than 10,000 followers.

MTV is Instagram's top brand with 813,201 users, followed by Starbucks' 758,146 users. Other top brands include Burberry, Nike, GE, and Gucci. McDonald's -- No. 6 on the Interbrand list -- brought up the basement of Instagram's top 10 brands, while Coca Cola -- the world's biggest brand -- didn't make the top 10.

The majority of brands on Instagram use them actively, with 25 percent posting at least one photo a week. The most active category on the list were luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co., Audi, Hermes, Gucci, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Armani.