Angry Facebook users deleting their accounts in droves are heading to another of the company’s platforms.
The latest Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytics was the last straw for many users. That said, it’s not as though they’re ready to give up social media altogether. Interestingly, the alternative many are choosing is Instagram.
Instagram, the image-based social media platform, is also owned by Facebook and is similarly operated.
Many industry experts have found the move to Instagram to be a fascinating one. While some had expected the Facebook scandal to send users to Twitter – which it did – waves of users have turned to Instagram. The reason for this choice? According to many users, it’s the positive experience it provides.
The Facebook social media experience is known for its drama as well as its advertising. While Instagram does include sponsored posts. The experience it offers is more subtle and – according to users – less angry and divisive. They enjoy the positive, personal side of social media while using Instagram.
This helps to explain why the Facebook scandal is sending users to a platform still owned by the company.
Facebook purchased Instagram back in 2012 in a $1 billion acquisition. Online surveys held as the #DeleteFacebook trend was heating up showed Instagram was the new favorite. People feel inspired and friendly there. They use it for happiness – at least to a greater extent than Facebook.
This trend aligns with previous studies that have examined the connection between mood and happiness with social network experiences. Instagram was placed at the top of the “happiness” list, whereas Facebook ranked far lower. In fact, some studies have linked high levels of Facebook use with an increased risk of depression. Even some of the early developers of the social network have come out to say that its original design was specifically made to addict its users.
What has yet to be seen is how the Facebook scandal will impact that social network and social media regulation as a whole. Mark Zuckerberg has been promising greater efforts toward privacy protection, trustworthiness and controlling misinformation. It could be that government regulators – and social media users are about to demand these promises be kept.