Updated: Jan 7
Gen Z favors Instagram — people born after the year 2000 — over Facebook.
Facebook had always been the "big boss" in social media marketing, with over 2.8 billion monthly active users. However, the new kid on the block – Instagram has continued to gain momentum. Founded in 2010, Instagram has enjoyed massive growth in its active user base. In 2021, statistics show over 1billion Instagram users globally, with 71 percent of them under the age of 35 spending an average of 53 minutes per day. This growth positions Instagram as one of the fastest-growing social media networks globally.
According to a Business Insider survey, 65 percent of Gen Z checks Instagram regularly, compared to 34% on Facebook. This vast disparity demonstrates that a large portion of Gen Z favors Instagram. Furthermore, Facebook has lost 15 million members in the last two years, with a more significant decline among younger people. Facebook is clearly on the decrease, while Instagram is on the increase.
Reasons Instagram has become prominent✨
Instagram rose to prominence by positioning itself as a haven where users may express themselves
uniquely by telling their followers how they see the world. If you spend five seconds browsing through your Instagram feed, you'll notice that many of the influencers, companies and people you follow all have a similar uncanny look.
Beach images, voluminous hair, weekend party shots, and concert locations have become part of the "aesthetic" that many Instagram users feel compelled to adopt. In this manner, Instagram catches only a few photos of a person's most ideal moments, unlike Facebook, where virtually every routine occurrence is documented.
2. Advertisements & Influencers
Brands have used Instagram's curated idealized image, while famous social media influencers have
made money by promoting, advertising, and creating online businesses through selling their fans items, merch, and presets. As a result of these activities, Instagram has become a key platform for discovery and sales. Composed, a digital and creative firm, discovered that 60 percent of Gen Z consumers in the United States use Instagram to find new companies and goods, outperforming Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook by a wide margin.
3. Serves as a Political Tool
Instagram has also evolved into a political mobilizer, as seen by the event that sparked the Black Lives Matter campaign. Instagram used to be a place to get away from the real world, including politics, before this trend. Instagram needs to use its vast online platform as a resource for youngsters to learn about activism and Black solidarity considering the current social context and harsh injustice.
Established racial justice and civil rights organizations witnessed a significant increase in their Instagram followings because of the Black Lives Matter campaign. For example, the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles account began with about 40,000 Instagram followers and has since grown to an astonishing 343,000, exceeding the popularity of the group's Facebook page, which presently has just 68,000 followers. These figures alone demonstrate that Instagram's political reach has expanded.
4. Diversified beauty imagery
Instagram is often criticized for affecting the mental perspective of the younger generation. It is a double-edged sword with filtered images that raise unrealistic beauty expectations while also giving consumers access to a diverse picture of beauty, like sharing unfiltered body features (scars, stretch marks, pimples) and plus-size influencers. These diversified representations have increased on the platform, gaining audience traction, and causing brands/companies to make strategic market decisions.
Instagram has evolved into a complex platform that integrates features from Snapchat (Insta Stories), YouTube (live broadcasts, IGTV), Facebook (picture sharing), and Twitter (political remarks) into one app. Given Instagram's flexibility, it's no wonder that 65 percent of Gen Z uses it daily.
Facebook and Instagram have built a connection between their active user databases. For example, the capability to have an Instagram placement for a Facebook ad and the sharing of Instagram Stories directly to Facebook are ways these platforms have created moments of synergy for brands and users alike.
With billions of active users on Instagram and Facebook platforms, both social networking sites are influential with vast opportunities for brands and companies to engage their consumers.