Social Media: Facebook Versus Instagram

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Social media is a plethora of innovation and advantageous technology. Thousands upon thousands of applications lie at users’ fingertips, ready to be used to their full potential in communication and efficiency. Amid a myriad of social media applications, Facebook and Instagram stand out as two of the most established, and can be distinguished by their popularity, purpose, layout, and special features.

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The main draw of any social media application is its popularity, and Facebook’s 1.2 billion users far outweigh Instagram’s 500 million. In an unbiased sense, the numbers behind each application are mind-blowing and monumental. To be able to garner such a fan base is incredible, but Facebook seems to be the application that has dominated the social media market for years. Facebook’s reach spans countries, in which people all over the world can identify its logo, and most likely own an account. Likewise, Instagram’s logo is a familiar camera emoticon, and aids in reminding users the purpose for which it was created. Facebook’s popularity stems from its idea of social connectedness, or, starting your own little social-media related community. Similarly, Instagram grew popular quickly after its release because of its aid in sharing strictly photographs with other people, as this was a newer idea at the time. Personally, I heard about these applications through my friend group, and immediately joined. Since Facebook was created first, I devoted a lot of my time talking to my friends and telling more people about this innovative application. I went on it almost every day in the beginning because my friends would send me something new to look at and comment on. In contrast, Instagram’s reach, although spanning countries, has not achieved the same worldwide success. When it was first released, it did not spread as quickly as Facebook, but through aggressive advertising, this application was able to grow their fan-base. Now it is the second most popular application in the United States.

Most social media applications have a defined purpose; Facebook and Instagram applications claim differing purposes in their build. On one hand, Facebook’s main purpose is to aid in connecting friends, family, and the world all while allowing people to have a platform for voicing their opinions. For the most part, this main purpose of the software has been achieved, as with my Facebook account. I can efficiently see what my relatives and friends are posting and am able to keep up with their lives, even when I do not see them, or they live hours away. In contrast, Instagram’s purpose was solely focused on the sharing of photographs; not opinions. Like the producers of Facebook, Instagram was made in hopes of it becoming a platform for people to share their creativity and uniqueness. These differing purposes didn’t defer users, as many people have both an Instagram and Facebook account to experience the best of both worlds.

With every innovation or advancement of these applications, the developers need to present a new, bolder and more intuitive presentation. Facebook has upgraded their layout far more times that Instagram has over recent years. Facebook’s layout offers convenience and sleek organization. When logged into, it immediately brings up the feed from the individuals that you can follow, and from there you are able to simply click a button to like, share, or comment on another’s post. Furthermore, still on the main page in the right-hand corner are small emoticons that you can click on and they will link you to your messages, friend requests, and notifications. This appealing build is easy to use and simple in nature, all the while casting an appealing blue and grey color scheme over its contents. In contrast, Instagram presents is feed in order of the poster. This means that the pictures you might see in your feed do not appear in chronological order, but rather a mix of what the individual has posted. I have found that this is rather annoying in the sense that I prefer to see the newest posts first, and older ones later.

The special features of each application are what keep the user’s attention and entices them to focus on their product rather than others, Facebook has aggressively added new features while Instagram has stuck to its traditional framework. Originally, Facebook’s only features were typing simple text box worth of comments and posting them for your friends to like or comment on. As times changed, user’s desires grew, Facebook has adapted accordingly. They now offer live video footage in which your friends can watch you enjoy a concert or complete a task. There are also groups you can now be a part of in which only your group can see what is posted depending on the nature of the group. Furthermore, there are also a Facebook Marketplace in which you can post about things you are willing to sell or hoping to buy. Although Instagram has added new features such as adding to your story, which is a photograph or video that disappears from your account after 24 hours, they have not changed as much as Facebook; they still use the original framework which although appealing to the eye, could be made far more efficient.

Social media offers a world of powerful applications that are used in daily life. They are there to keep people connected, open, and curious. Just like any structured society, there are always those who garner more success than others, and these heavy-hitters in the world of social media applications are Facebook and Instagram.

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