Instagram is the social media platform of choice for 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.
Our latest research has found that four in ten teenagers share photos and images of themselves on Instagram, compared to 35% of Snapchat users, 21% of Facebook users and 7% of Twitter users.
Nearly a quarter (24%) say what they share on Instagram says a lot about who they'd like to be (compared to 19% on Facebook, 13% on Snapchat and 12% on Twitter).
While Snapchat is still the main platform to share key moments, Instagram remains the platform of choice for following celebrities (42% vs. 30% on Twitter, 20% on Facebook and 19% on Snapchat) and checking out the latest trends (35% vs. 22% on Twitter, 21% on Facebook and 10% on Snapchat).
Facebook is for families
Facebook now plays a very functional role for teens and is seen as a place to interact with family members; well over half (58%) believe it is a place where they can chat to and keep in touch with families. A further 41% of teenagers show the side of them on Facebook they'd rather their family see; just 9% say the same about Instagram.
The trend of idolising entrepreneurial celebrities continues; and YouTube has had a profound effect on who teenagers see as their biggest influencers. 70% of 13s and over subscribe to YouTube, with nearly two-thirds (64%) admitting they have talked about a product that a YouTuber has endorsed and 54% having bought one.
UK teens cite sensations Zoe Sugg (Zoella), Joe Sugg (Zoella's brother) and Alfie Deyes (Zoella's boyfriend) as the most influential creators.
Social media is a vast ocean of opportunity for almost anyone; 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 share photos and videos to show their "true selves".
Social media influencers
What's clear from our research is that Facebook is no longer king, with Snapchat and Instagram showing continued signs of growth. Teenagers do use Facebook regularly, but it's to keep in touch with family; whereas Instagram is the place to follow the Kardashians, Taylor Swift or a favourite brand.
In short, Instagram provides 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.
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Josh Krichefski is ceo of MediaCom.