A survey of college students revealed that the main reasons for Instagram use are “Surveillance/Knowledge about others,” “Documentation,” “Coolness,” and “Creativity.” The next significant finding was a positive relationship between those who scored high in interpersonal interaction and using Instagram for coolness, creative purposes, and surveillance.
A positive relationship between high levels of social activity (travelling, going to sporting events, visiting friends, etc.) and being motivated to use Instagram as a means of documentation was also discovered.
The study interview 239 undergraduate students, including 104men and 133 women, ranging in age from 18 to 52.
Of the four motives, Surveillance/Knowledge about others was the most influential reason behind Instagram use.
The second most important motive is Documentation. In terms of results found in other various literature, the discovery of Documentation as a motive appears to be unique to this particular study as the platform relies on photos, unlike other social media platforms.
Creativity is the fourth motivator and there are many opportunities for users to portray their creative talents on Instagram. Instagram allows users to apply filters, post creative captions and add a range of hashtags. Instagram is a visually-based social networking site so it makes sense that creativity is a motivator.
The study also identified that different psychological and social circumstances (life satisfaction, social activity, narcissism) may reinforce different behavioural tendencies (in terms of motives for Instagram use)that ultimately trigger different behavioural outcomes (the number of hours spent on the site, editing photos, using hashtags etc).
Applying the Findings to Marketing