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Instagram vs. Facebook as Social Media Platforms

A few decades ago, the world population relied on the telephone for connection and communication. Nowadays, technological advancements have reduced the world to a globalized village with a third of the entire human population actively interacting online through Facebook and Instagram (Bumsoo and Yonghwan 158). The two online platforms are among the top leading social media sites with overwhelming audience size and popularity. These sites have almost the same functions but have unique features that differentiate them. Facebook is perfect for connecting with friends and networking, especially friends that know each other. Conversely, Instagram is among the newest social media platforms popular for sharing the best moments, quality pictures, and short video clips. Due to the rapidly growing numbers of users on the two platforms, businesses leverage them for branding and marketing. Seemingly, the two online sites are competing for numbers, with Instagram registering a sharp increase in users within the last few years. The two overlapping social media sites, Facebook and Instagram, have stark differences in users’ age, the scope of engagement, and business marketing strategy.

The difference in the age of users in the two social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, gives an interesting insight into the sites’ demographic appeal. Being one of the earliest social media platforms, Facebook appears to have captivated and retained the senior population compared to Instagram. There is a higher percentage of elderly users on Facebook than on Instagram. The majority of millennials, people between the age of eighteen and thirty, prefer using Instagram to Facebook (Bumsoo and Yonghwan 162). However, it is important to note that regardless of the millennials using both social media sites, many of them prefer Instagram routinely. Surprisingly, the Facebook user base includes more people beyond sixty-five years, which shows that the elderly are comfortable with it. What is even more appealing to the Facebook users is the news feed where one can read the information, people’s posts, and comments without the need of posting, replying, or reacting, and still, the account remains active. On the contrary, the young generation loves Instagram since it allows them to upload their daily stories, for instance, pictures and short video clips while traveling, having fun, or attending momentous events. Additionally, Instagram allows the millennials to follow celebrity stories, trends, and fashion ideas. Ideally, Instagram is the site which young people visit to discover new and incoming exciting things (Larsson 3). Among the millennials, Instagram is appealing as it looks current, friendly, creative, and exciting as opposed to Facebook, which many perceive as old-school. Thus, users’ age is one of the major factors depicting the difference between Facebook and Instagram.

At the same time, the different scope of engagement in Facebook and Instagram significantly affects how individuals, businesses, and customers interact. With the evolution of society where businesses are rapidly shifting to online spaces, Facebook and Instagram are becoming some of the most targeted sites (Larsson 4). However, understanding how the platforms allow the business to engage with customers differentiates how brands use the two sites. Facebook boasts of a larger audience, which means business ads and campaigns can reach many people. Furthermore, Facebook offers numerous ways of interacting, such as business pages, news feeds, chat functions, and groups. Hence, users have many options to utilize for their personal or business needs. Compared to Instagram, Facebook is exceedingly better at distributing information. It allows the users to send web pages, weblinks, long texts, and articles. The share button also enables Facebook users to share posts and any other information with friends. As a result, Facebook has a larger audience due to numerous scopes of interactions available for users. Instagram has a limited scope of interaction where people share ideas, contents, or posts by attaching the link in the profile, which is cumbersome for others to access (Larsson 8). Therefore, the extent of engagement in Facebook and Instagram differs, with Facebook having the edge over Instagram.

While Facebook prides itself on the high number of users, which is more than three billion and continues to rise daily, and user-to-user interaction, Instagram has elevated engagement between user and the content. Facebook has a high user interaction method, but Instagram has increased user engagement with the visual content posted by businesses (Voorveld et al. 43). Thus, as Facebook allows its large number of users to interact, Instagram, on the other hand, gives a chance to its growing numbers to directly interact with the content. Even with the popularity and user base, Facebook trails Instagram’s ineffectiveness of social media marketing. The acceptance of Instagram among businesses lies in two important factors. The first advantage Instagram thrives in is its appeal to the younger generation. Mostly, the older generation is not as active on social media as youthful people. That means Facebook, with a larger audience, does not have more active users than Instagram since the majority of those preferring Facebook is old and hardly active online. The second advantageous factor Instagram has is allowing users to engage with products. Facebook is primarily informational, while Instagram enables people to experience the captured moments. As a result, Instagram is becoming dominant in industries where video and pictures are the major forms of content such as photography, interior design, architecture, hospitality, and celebrity news (Voorveld et al. 46). Thus, Instagram is more effective in social media marketing despite Facebook having more users.

On the contrary, Facebook and Instagram share numerous notable similarities. The two sites allow users to follow families, friends, and celebrities. Once an individual follows a particular user, one can see posts made by that person. Additionally, Facebook and Instagram allow users to block people as they wish. The blocked individuals cannot see the posts of the person who blocked them. Another important similarity is that both platforms can be used for marketing. Businesses and brands can create accounts on either site purposely for marketing (Bumsoo and Yonghwan 161). Furthermore, the two social media platforms allow users to open online shops. Since people are nowadays obsessed with online shopping, one can make orders on Facebook or Instagram. Lastly, both online sites allow users to create posts, like, comment or add location. The features give people an opportunity to interact and share content. A user can either like someone else’s post, picture, or comment. At the same time, one can give opinions by commenting on other users’ photos or posts (Voorveld et al. 43). Hence, Facebook and Instagram have many similarities as social media platforms.

In short, Facebook and Instagram are among the most popular social media platforms. However, the two platforms differ significantly due to users’ age, the scope of interaction, and effectiveness as a business marketing strategy. The younger generation prefers Instagram, while the seniors majorly use Facebook. Although Facebook has a significantly huge number of users, Instagram has an overwhelming level of engagement. Furthermore, businesses prefer Instagram for marketing products and product awareness. Nevertheless, the two social media platforms are similar as it allows users to post, comment, block people, and follow others. There is so much to experience from these social media platforms if you can try them.

Works Cited

Kim, Bumsoo, and Yonghwan Kim. “Facebook versus Instagram: How Perceived Gratifications and Technological Attributes are Related to the Change in Social Media Usage.” The Social Science Journal, vol. 56, no. 2, 2019, pp. 156-167. Web.

Larsson, Anders Olof. “The News User on Social Media: A Comparative Study of Interacting with Media Organizations on Facebook and Instagram.” Journalism Studies, vol. 19, no. 15 (2018), pp. 2-10. Web.

Voorveld, Hilde A.M., et al. “Engagement with Social Media and Social Media Advertising: The Differentiating Role of Platform Type.” Journal of Advertising, vol. 47, no. 1, 2018, pp. 38-54.


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