We wrote earlier this year about an Instagram phenomenon that we think is very interesting. The post, titled “What’s up with teens and semi-private Instagram accounts?”, laid out what we see as the typical way that teens (especially teen girls) manage and curate their Instagram presence.
For reference, here is a screen grab of the images we posted with that article:
Notice anything similar about those 3 accounts? Again, from that post in February:
- The accounts are all set to private
- The accounts all follow a large number of accounts
- The accounts all have a large number of followers
- The accounts have posted precious few photos to their network
Bullet four is about to go to a whole new level. This week, Instagram introduced a “save draft” function.
From what we’ve seen, heard and read in research, until now the 20 or so photos that teen girls keep in their Instagram feed are there based on a number of factors including how many likes to posts gets in the few minutes immediately after being posted. Another obvious factor determining the whether the picture stays or goes is how good/pretty/amazing it is in the opinion of the poster.
With drafts, we expect to see (not “see” per se, but you get it) girls agonizing over the right filter/caption/effect and whether the photo is worthy of a shot at permanence before ultimately posting the pic, or discarding it before it ever gets posted.
That’s not good or bad, it’s just the way it is. Lots of frivolous photos get posted to Snapchat, then disappear (kind of, maybe). Other photos may get posted to the teen’s other Instagram account. A lot of teens treat their Instagram feed more like a museum that a social network. It looks like that will continue.
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