Research: Teens more truthful on Instagram

Instagram is the platform choice of UK teenagers to express their true selves, follow their idols and keep up to date with the latest trends, leaving Facebook trailing in its wake, according to a study by MediaCom.

4-in-10 teens share photos and images of themselves to show who they really are, compared to 35 per cent of Snapchat users, 21 per cent of Facebook users and 7 per cent of Twitter users. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) say what they share on Instagram says a lot about who they’d like to be (compared to 19 per cent on Facebook, 13 per cent on Snapchat and 12 per cent on Twitter).

While Snapchat is still the main platform to share key ‘moments’ (44 per cent on Snapchat vs. 36 per cent on Instagram), Instagram remains the platform of choice for following celebrities (42 per cent vs. 30 per cent on Twitter, 20 per cent on Facebook and 19 per cent on Snapchat) and seeing the latest trends (35 per cent vs. 22 per cent on Twitter, 21 per cent on Facebook and 10 per cent on Snapchat):

What’s more, Facebook now plays a very functional role for teens and is seen as a place to interact with family members; well over half (58 per cent) believe it is a place where they can chat to and keep in touch with families. A further 41 per cent of teenagers show the side of them on Facebook they’d rather their family see; a huge discrepancy between second place Instagram with 9 per cent.

The trend of idolising entrepreneurial celebrities continues, as the role of YouTube has had a profound effect on who teenagers see as their biggest influencers. 70 per cent of 13s and over subscribe to YouTube, with nearly two thirds (64 per cent) admitting to talking about the product that a YouTuber has endorsed and 54 per cent actually buying that product. UK teens cite sensations Zoe Sugg (Zoella), Joe Sugg (Zoella’s brother) and Alfie Deyes (Zoella’s boyfriend) as the most influential creators.

Josh Krichefski, CEO at MediaCom UK, said: “Social media is a vast ocean of opportunity for almost anybody; singer, footballer, brand, and of course, your typical 2017 teenager. Instagram in particular, once a photo-sharing app for amateur photographers, is now a powerhouse in social media. Teenagers are using the platform more than ever to follow celebrities, find the latest trends and most intriguingly, share photos & videos to show their ‘true selves’.

“What’s clear from the research too is that Facebook is no longer king, with Snapchat and Instagram showing continued signs of growth; although teens might be using Facebook regularly, it’s something they’d rather use to keep in touch with their family. However, if you want to follow the Kardashians, Taylor Swift or your favourite sneaker brand, it’s more likely that teens will turn to Instagram for that. It’s therefore a great opportunity for brands and advertisers to capitalise on the continued shift towards the ‘challenger’ social media companies and take advantage of the self-made influencers on digital platforms who are now amassing huge, previously untapped audiences.”

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