Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why Teens Love Instagram

Why Teens Love Instagram image
If you want to know what a typical teenager thinks of the various social networks available, there's a great post by 19 year old University of Texas student Andrew Watts on BackChannel. In it he describes how he and his friends use all the popular networks, but what they love and hate about them as well.

It's especially interesting what he has to say about the current darling of the teen world, Instagram. In an excerpt from his article, here's why he says it's so beloved.
  • "I'm not terrified whenever I like something on Instagram that it will show up in someone’s Newsfeed and they'll either screenshot that I liked it or reference it later. The same goes for commenting.
  • I am not as pressured to follow someone back on Instagram, meaning my feed is normally comprised of content I actually want to see. That being said, I will come back and scroll through an application that has content I enjoy rather than one where I have to find the occasional diamond in the rough.
  • The content on Instagram is usually of higher quality. People take time to edit their photos with filters, use different brightness/contrast settings (it’s even one of the steps to posting a photo), etc., to make the pictures look the best they possibly can. This means the content on Instagram is normally “better” (photo-wise), so I am more likely to go back to the application.
  • Instagram hasn't been flooded with the older generation yet (not everyone has an Instagram) meaning it’s “hip” and “cool” to the younger crowd. However, it is popular enough that if you have a smartphone it’s almost unheard of for you not to have Instagram, if not to take pictures, but to at least tag people in photos.
  • Another point: tagging. I don't have to constantly check Instagram to make sure I wasn't tagged in any awkward or bad photos. That’s because you can't easily see them in your feed, making the whole experience seem way more private. Am I looking weird in a photo you posted? Who cares—I can just delete the tag if I really am that upset about it without fear that my friends from another social circle (who don’t follow you) will get to it first. I know Facebook has the ability to let you check every single photo tagged of you before it appears on your profile, but many people I know do not have that enabled or know it even exists.
  • People do not post 10000 times a day on Instagram. Many are much more polite about posting, either doing once a day, a few times a week, etc. This means that there isn't a constant flow of content being shoved down my throat every time I open the application, and it is possible to be “caught up” with my Instagram feed.
  • There are no links on Instagram, meaning I'm not being constantly spammed by the same advertisement, horrible gossip news article, or Buzzfeed listicle about the “28 Ingenious Things For Your Dog You Had No Idea You Needed”
There's a lot of great additional insight about social use by teens, so if you market to that age group, I suggest you take a look.

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