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The iNews Network

The Student News Site of NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

The Student News Site of NYC iSchool

The iNews Network

Which one is better: Facebook vs. Instagram?


Imagine a mythical creature who travels to visit the human species on earth. When you arrive you discover that the basis of their society is technology and the basis of the technology is their social media apps. The humans explain the most popular ones Facebook, Instagram, etc., itching questions linger on your mind, what is the difference between this “Facebook” and “Instagram”? Is one better? If so, which one?

Through conducting a series of 3 interviews this article explains the major differences between Instagram and Facebook. 2 adolescent interviews and one adult interview. This article grapples with the differences in age groups, types of content, personal reasons for one’s preferred choice of Social media platform, and which one people genuinely think is better. Is one really better?

Why Instagram And Facebook?

The main focus is on Instagram and Facebook because they are the 2 internet platforms that have the most users globally. They also have extremely similar structures but reach such different audiences, that the majority of people have one of the 2 if not both, without it being embarrassing or weird. Facebook and Instagram have extremely similar demographic structures and content but opposite demographic users.

What are all the kids saying?

The observation started by interviewing 15-year-old Alicia Shalom, a Socially excited teen in the NYC area, by inquiring about her preference between Instagram and Facebook. 

 “Not a lot of kids my age are on Facebook but most of them are on Instagram so the apps are for different age groups of people, I don’t really even know how Facebook works, Instagram is easier to use,” she said. 

When asked the same question, 15-year-old teen girl Callie Edmed also prefers Instagram so it’s a fair assumption to say that young girls prefer Instagram for their online social life. 

The young girl mentions that she’s used Facebook in the past but doesn’t use Facebook anymore because “it sucks.” Its reason for sucking? Her own self-stigma against Gen X.  “When I think of Gen X I think of my parents, My parents are the main people controlling me in my life, the whole app is just cringe.” 

Callie claims that Instagram is better because there are not a lot of older people on Instagram and it’s convenient to her lifestyle because she finds out what parties to go to, though she herself is not on Instagram as much as the average specimen might assume a teenage girl is. She said, “I use social media for a couple of minutes, like 5 times a week just to check up on people and things.”

 “There’s not a lot of older people on Instagram when I see older people on Instagram they’re always dm’ing high schoolers,” Said Callie.

Perhaps the disconnect between the 2 generations between the 2 platforms is a good thing because if something looks off, chances are that something is for example predatory advances in the social midst.

Both girls say that there is not a big difference between Facebook and Instagram, “they’re both social media apps, the main difference is just the age demographic and I prefer to stick to my own age range.” 

“Both can be used well for marketing just depending on the age, you can use the dominant age group to your advantage. For example, I think a vape-selling business would go over better on Instagram, and a furniture business would do better on Facebook but I’ve never seen anyone at all around my age on Facebook.”  

Loyal to Instagram the teens are still able to acknowledge the upside to Facebook and demonstrate an understanding of where they belong and how they could utilize both platforms if they needed to.

Sneak Peek into Gen x 

To provide insight on the supposed older users on Facebook that younger Insta feinds will warn you about, 48-year-old Mother and daughter Jordan Aitchison shares her experience with Instagram and Facebook, taking the world by storm when admitting that she herself actually likes Instagram more but uses Facebook more because it’s what she knows.

“I Like the style of Instagram better, offers more curated options but I use Facebook more. I Like the idea of Instagram more but end up using Facebook more because that’s what I started with so I’m more used to it because it’s what I’ve known for the years before Instagram when I was more active on social media.”  

Jordan doesn’t use social media often, she might do her occasional 5-minute check but other than that is pretty in-the-moment kind of gal. When it comes down to Instagram and Facebook she doesn’t use either much but gravitates towards Facebook because that’s where people her age are, and the cycle continues.

“ I see more pictures of more people I know, and people from my past that I don’t spend much time with.  Facebook provides more insight to see what people that I know have been up to that I haven’t seen in a while”.

She says she likes the idea of Instagram more but uses Facebook more because that’s what she had in the past to the present. Does she actually like Facebook? 

“I used to think there was too much on Instagram for example too much baking and boho travel scenes. But now Facebook is becoming the same like you may see a photo of someone you know followed by 5 ads. You just see the same people over and over again based on some weird algorithm. Now it’s gotten especially creepy because your phone listens to you and the Facebook ads are based on your conversations.

The Facebook algorithm pushed Jordan to start preferring Instagram, the app that did not capture the woman’s interest at first.

Which one is actually better?

Though in all actuality there is no “better” platform, just better aspects depending on circumstance and what you’re looking for personally. Facebook is better when you want to reach an older audience or join a more secluded group/community and Instagram is Better when targeting a younger audience or seeking inspiration and aesthetics. Individually preference and identity can completely change which social media platform you seek out,  if you choose to use one but on a wider range scale, one platform takes the cake.

After thorough deliberation, Instagram is being crowned the better social media platform when looked at from a substantial angle. 

  • Reason 1 is that all 3 interviewees expressed preferring Instagram to Facebook describing it as being creepy and corny  
  • Reason 2 according to Difference Between Facebook and Instagram – DailyXtra  Instagram was born October 6, 2010, 6 years after Facebook and still managed to catch up if not exceed Facebook within the time since, though being much younger    

Hearing Jordan’s complaints about the Facebook algorithm to the point where she prefers Instagram, an app that she once avoided for these very reasons, and the fact that she’s rarely on it gives reason to believe that she does not enjoy social media. Callie Edmed also only barely dips her toes into the social schemes of her social media platform of choice; clearly suggesting that she doesn’t much enjoy social media at all either. No matter how old you are and which platform you choose to frequent, one thing we all have in common is how draining it can be. 

The NSW  Department of Education; Digital Citizenship article on Social media addresses the perks of Social Media examples including Building an online identity, talking with friends, connecting with communities online, support from like-minded individuals, etc. But primary information and experiences collected from Alicia, Callie, and Jordan convey that those are not the main taking place that is happening on these platforms and though Instagram may be better perhaps neither is any good at all.

Social media really is just people pretending to enjoy their and others’ lives more than they really do because of fear of falling behind and/or being forgotten. Instagram and Facebook both promote pretend behavior that influences toxic mindsets to develop, stay away!

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