How and Why 13-24 Year-Olds Use Instagram

Social Media Week

Instagram plays a significant role in the lives of Millennials and Gen-Z. As they learn about the world, discover their passions, connect with friends, and find more communities to tap into, they consistently rely on visual language and storytelling.

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Visual content dominates our screens today. In a post on Facebook’s IQ blog, Aria, a 22-year-old from Canada says, “People don’t really want to read through text all the time … they just want to see it visually. It’s more appealing.”

Visual content allows people to express themselves in any language. Everyone in the world is fluent in photos and videos, and it allows digitally connected individuals to connect and come together.

Facebook explored the role of visual language in the lives of 13–24-year-olds in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and the US, and tried to understand what it means to grow up in a world of constant connectivity.

Instagram inspires the journey

Instagram plays a major role in young adults’ lives. It serves as a place where teens and adults go to discover what’s new, what’s next, what their friends are doing, and because Instagram captures the immediacy of the moment, photos and videos in their feeds provide an instant connection to that individual or community.

53% of Instagrammers in the study say the platform helps them define who they are. Discovering new interests, following role models, and digging deeper into communities is simple in Instagram, and 13 to 24-year-olds are among the most active users doing all three.

Photo-Journaling Their Lives

According to Facebook, “63% of Instagrammers in our study say they use Instagram to document their lives. Many document regularly, with 72% posting photos on the platform monthly. And they do it creatively, curating moments and artistically filtering their images to display life at its best. As Mohamed, a 19-year-old in Germany, says, Instagram is where “you have these effects available … where you share your coolest pictures.”

56% of Instagrammers in our study said that the platform makes them feel more connected to the people they know, and 52% agreed that it gives them a sense of community, which can be important for those on the path of self-discovery.

When Do Teens and Young Adults Use Instagram?

It’s very possible that 13 to 24-year olds fall asleep thinking about (or even thumbing through) Instagram. 39% of this age group uses Instagram right before going to sleep, and 33% wake up accessing the platform to see what they missed while they were (literally) disconnected.

There Is Definitely Hope for Brands on Instagram

68% of Instagrammers ages 13–24 say they interact with brands regularly, whether it’s by looking at photos, liking content, following accounts, or visiting a website after discovering the respective content. This means teens and young adults are open to new forms and participants in storytelling on Instagram, especially accounts that are authentic, visually stunning, and not self-promotional.

Facebook recommends brands try to engage teens and young adults by offering an organic experience that puts a heavy emphasis on quality and design. Images and videos will should be beautiful, thoughtful, and artfully presented.

Many of the 13-24 year old respondents identify Instagram with real-time updates, entertainment, and information, and brands that want to engage young adults with this desire to know more in the moment can find success with content such as behind the scenes photos, exclusive looks at products or events, or creating a sequential story in bite-sized chapters.

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Image Credit: TODAY

Tyler Becker

Director of Content, Social Media Week


Tyler is the Director of Content at Crowdcentric and Social Media Week. He writes about digital media, entertainment, emerging tech, Internet silly-billies, mobile apps, and more. Oh, and he likes craft beer, travel, and podcasts.

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