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Instagram generation gap closer than a photo finish

Courtesy of Creative Commons at

Courtesy of Creative Commons at

A relatively new form of social media, Instagram was launched in October 2010. Since then, 16 billion photos have been posted by over 150 million users, according to Digital Marketing Ramblings.

What makes Instagram different than any other social network? Initially, it was designed to share nothing but photographs taken by users and uploaded for “friends” to see.

An article written by Eric Markowitz forĀ noted that the network’s title “Instagram” came from a combination of “instant” and “telegram”.

Statistically, the generation gap for Instagram is less apparent than other social networks. Those aged 18-25 make up 34.4 percent of Instagram users, while those aged 26-35 make up 30.7 percent of the social network’s age demographic, according to an article on

Natalie Tafoya, a 29-year old from Phoenix, enjoys having an Instagram, though she has only had it for a few months.

“I like the fact that there’s not a lot of [words] going on it,” she said. “It’s just a lot of pictures [that] make it easier to look at.”

Tafoya checks the site “once every few days” but says that she is not surprised that the teenage demographic is the one that uses the social network the most.

“This demographic is in to taking pictures a lot,” said Tafoya. “They want to show everyone all of their pictures and show off that way and it’s a really good visual way to show off.”

James Anderson, an 18-year old from Mesa, Ariz., agrees.

“I think people take advantage of it,” he said. “They take too many pictures of their food.”

Anderson does not have an Instagram and is not sure if he will ever get one. However, he, like Tafoya, understands why teenagers use it so often.

“Teenagers are very visually focused,” said Anderson. “They don’t really need words to express much and Instagram is very simple in that way, it’s very visually appealing.”

That appeal triggered one of the biggest buys in Facebook history.

Last April, Facebook, the most popular social network on the planet, purchased Instagram for about $1 billion in cash and stocks, according to the New York Times’ Deal Book.

While Instagram is loved by many, it lacks a few key components that keep social networkers happy.

“I prefer Facebook over Instagram,” said Tafoya. “I think I like Facebook better because if you don’t have a picture you can still post something that you are feeling.

“I can still follow some of my family members that I don’t get to see very often because of their words, not just their pictures.”

Next week, Generation Update will handle the professional world of LinkedIn, a social network designed for employers and potential employees to connect in a digital business world.