The study found that young adults liked how easy Instagram was to use, plus the many features of the highly visual platform.
Facebook’s photo and video sharing platform helps young people develop real-life friendships, especially those who hesitate to try new experiences, a new study suggests.
In a study published online in Computers in Human Behavior, researchers at Washington State University analyzed responses from about 700 college adults about their perceptions and use of the social media site.
“Our findings are optimistic: Instagram self-disclosure could facilitate the development of friendship, even if followers were only casual acquaintances at first,” said lead author Danielle Lee of Washington State University.
The analysis found that young adults liked how easy Instagram was to use, in addition to the many features of the highly visual platform.
This encouraged them to express themselves on the social media site, which led to new and deeper offline relationships.
The results of the study suggested that Instagram had a greater effect on low-rated people in the “open” personality trait, meaning that they tend to be more reserved and closed to new experiences than those who scored high in that personality. feature.
“Studies have shown that, in general, non-extrovert people who may be a little shy find social media platforms an easier way to interact with others,” said co-author and researcher Porismita Borah, associate professor. from WSU.
“Instagram is a visually rich platform that really helps with self-introduction,” said Borah.
A large majority, 71 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use Instagram, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey.
As the WSU study notes, users can follow other people on Instagram without their approval if their accounts are public, allowing people to interact without strong social ties off the platform.
Instagram is also distinguished from other image-focused social networks: users can’t create a visual-less post like Facebook and Twitter. The platform also offers easy ways to control how users present themselves.
“On Instagram, you can change the image any way you want with filters and many different tools before you post it,” said Borah.
“Both media richness and ease of use come together on Instagram, which probably makes it so appealing to the younger generation,” Borah added.