The Gen Z population -- generally defined as those born after 1995 -- is 40% more likely to have a Finstagram (a.k.a. fake Instagram account) when compared to Millennials. A new study commissioned by MediaVillage and conducted by AnchorFree demonstrates the tendency among younger Instagram users to create a secondary Instagram account, a Finstagram, which they share with a select group of friends.
With Instagram being Gen Z's most important social media tool, the ways in which they're using the platform will be of the utmost importance to marketers. Where are Gen Zers being their most authentic selves? A 2015 New York Times article described a user's real Instagram account as aspirational (a reflection of one's best life) and a Finstagram as more authentic and intimate.
The November 2017 U.S. survey on Instagram use was fielded among 1015 respondents and revealed that 80% of Gen Z has an Instagram account, signaling the platform's reach among this audience. Data supports that a growing subset of Gen Z is using their Finstagram as a personal social communications tool -- one third of Gen Z has a Finstagram and the majority (58%) have less than 50 followers of their Finstagram account.
Among Millennials, those in their mid-twenties are nearly twice as likely to have a Finstagram than those aged 28 and older. Interestingly, teenagers are most likely to have a real Instagram account but not as likely to have a Finstagram especially when compared to the youngest respondents -- half of whom reported having a Finstagram. This could be explained by teenagers relying on Snapchat for more personal communications. According to MediaVillage and AnchorFree's June 2017 survey on the social media platforms most important to Gen Z, teenagers were the ones most likely to indicate Snapchat's special significance.
Gen Z generally has more followers of their real Instagram accounts when compared to Millennials. Results show that the sphere of social influence among digital native Gen Zers stands to be more powerful than that of Millennials who have fewer followers and are less likely to have a secondary outlet for communicating (Finstagram).
Results may also demonstrate a heightened awareness of online privacy. Gen Zers look towards their Finstagram as a more private means of expression, recognizing that their real Instagram account has more followers and less confidentiality. This point is validated by the fact that respondents were obtained via AnchorFree's base of five million Generation Z users who have registered for AnchorFree, the world's largest security application. Gen Z users can access Wi-Fi at school and avoid firewalls and data charges via AnchorFree's virtual private network (VPN).
"Gen Z is a difficult-to-reach demographic," notes AnchorFree's Vice President of Ad Sales, Ken Ripley. "Marketers have to consider these new ways in which Gen Z is communicating. We're excited to work with marketers and MediaVillage to uncover these trends among our core audience."
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