Which Instagram Features Do Its Young Users Prefer?

August 30, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Demographics & Audiences | Digital | Social Media | Teens & Younger | Youth & Gen X

Instagram remains locked with TikTok in a battle for young users, with Gen Zers and teens preferring the latter but Instagram boasting a high rate of “power users” around the world. Recent survey results from YPulse reveal that there’s been a rebound in adoption of Instagram among Millennials and Gen Zers this year, with both using the platform at similar rates.

About two-thirds (67%) of Millennials surveyed by YPulse in April reported using Instagram, reflecting a large increase from a few months earlier, when 55% reported use, in November 2022. In fact, Instagram use among this cohort had been on a decline since an April 2021 survey, when an equal two-thirds said they were using it. As such, this latest data matches the highest adoption rate since January 2019 (71%).

The rebound hasn’t been quite as dramatic among Gen Zers, but there has also been a hike in reported usage among this group this year. In April, some 66% of Gen Z respondents said they used Instagram, up from 60% in November 2022. The peak level of usage among this generation over the past few years was 74%, in January 2021.

YPulse reports that “Instagram usage is returning to stardom,” noting that a slight majority (52%) of Millennials, along with more than 4 in 10 Gen Zers (43%) say they use the app every day.

Popular Instagram Features

In examining what these young users like to do on Instagram, YPulse finds that the order of appeal of various features is similar among both generations, though there are some differences in usage.

Stories is the most commonly used feature by both groups, as reported by almost half (48%) of Gen Z users and 44% of Millennial users. Reels is slightly further behind for Gen Zers (40%), although the analysis separately highlights that Reels has almost caught up with TikTok for Gen Z weekly video viewing. Meanwhile, almost as many Millennial Instagram users say they use Reels (42%) as Stories (44%). It’s perhaps little wonder that brand post engagement rates are high for Reels.

Beyond Stories and Reels, Millennials tend to be higher users of Photo Filters than Gen Zers (38% and 32%, respectively), though Face Filters are more evenly used by both generations (14% and 16%, respectively).

Finally, as more adults say they’re likely to make purchases directly on social media platforms including Instagram, it’s interesting to note that one-fifth (20%) of Millennial Instagram users say they use the Shopping feature, compared to 15% of Gen Z users.

For more, check out the full results here.

About the Data: The results are based on surveys of 1,500 13-39-year-olds.


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