Targeting Teens? Get on Instagram

There’s still plenty of room for Instagram adoption among companies. Based on recent research by GfK for Pew Research Center, the platform presents brands with a good channel on which to reach teens. The study found that 52% of US teen internet users used Instagram—the second most popular social media platform among the group after Facebook (71%).

Instagram usage skewed toward older teens, and females were much more likely than their male counterparts to use the platform. This difference was due mostly to very low usage among males ages 13 to 14, among whom just one-third used Instagram. Penetration came in at 51% among 15-to-17-year-old males. Fully 56% of females ages 13 to 14 were Instagrammers, as were 64% of those ages 15 to 17.

Black teens were more likely to use Instagram than their white or Hispanic counterparts, and penetration was highest among respondents from households with an income of $75,000 or more—opposite that of Facebook, where teens from households with an income of less than $50,000 were the biggest users. Pew found that teen Instagrammers typically had 150 followers.

Based on November 2014 research by Defy Media, teens are most likely logging on to Instagram via smartphones. Among US teen internet users who used Instagram and had access to a smartphone, PC and tablet, 53% logged on through a smartphone, vs. 30% who used a tablet and 21% a desktop or laptop.

eMarketer estimates that this year, there will be 15.5 million Instagram users ages 12 to 17 in the US, representing 61.9% penetration among the age group and 72.9% of social networkers in the bracket—both higher than reach for any other range. By 2019, just over three-quarters of 12- to 17-year-olds, or nearly 19 million people and 86.1% of social networkers in the age group, will access Instagram via any device at least monthly.

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