Indian Gen Z prefers Instagram to Facebook, reveals survey

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India’s urban youth spends more time on social media compared with their older counterparts, with Instagram emerging as the favourite among the youngest lot, in line with the trend witnessed in the US, where teenagers now use Instagram more than Facebook, according to Pew survey data.

While Facebook remains the most popular social media platform among the millennials, Instagram beats Facebook among Generation Z, shows a recent survey conducted by market research firm YouGov in collaboration with Mint.

Millennials refer to those born between 1981 and 1996 (aged 22 to 37 years in 2018) into an increasingly digitally connected world. Those born after 1996, i.e. those aged 21 years or below, are here referred to as the post-millennials or Gen Z.

Population projections from the UN Population Division suggest that the Gen Z population already exceeds millennial population in India.

The YouGov-Mint Millennial online survey had 5,000 respondents across more than 180 cities. Of the total, almost a thousand belonged to Gen X (aged 38-53 years) and a little more than thousand each to older millennials (aged 29-37 years), younger millennials (aged 22-28), and post-millennials (aged 18-21). Those born before 1965 have been excluded from the analysis.

Other findings:

  • Instagram’s popularity among millennials and post-millennials is the highest in Mumbai followed closely by Delhi.
  • LinkedIn seems to be the most popular in Bengaluru. Facebook’s popularity cuts across cities, the data shows.
  • Facebook is no longer the most popular network for the youngest cohort.  Instagram, the photo-and video-sharing mobile application which Facebook acquired in 2012 has taken the place.
  • The preference for Instagram among the younger generation might reflect an increasing urge for self-promotion. Studies, based largely in the US have linked the growing appeal of Instagram to narcissistic tendencies. It is argued that Instagram is tailored for projecting an image of oneself, while Facebook offers more scope for social interaction and networking.
  • Another reason behind Instagram’s rise could be the fact that internet is mostly accessed through mobile handsets in India. This might explain how Instagram, specifically designed for mobile-only access, could beat platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn which operate on multiple devices.
  • Twitter and LinkedIn continue to remain popular among middle-aged working population, possibly because of more strictly defined functionalities.
  • What is common across the younger and the relatively older cohorts is the concern over privacy being compromised owing to use of social media. However, the younger generation appears relatively less worried compared with the older cohorts, perhaps a reflection of the innocence of youth.
  • Relatively older groups are more likely to use internet for work-related stuff and online shopping, while the youngest lot—generation Z—is more likely to use internet for education.

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