The Rock doesn’t use Facebook to write about his daily life. Instead, he turns to Instagram, where his extensive photo captions include a 240-word story about jumping into his pool with two bulldogs.
Seeing Facebook as becoming too impersonal, many social media users are turning to Instagram captions to express themselves – highlighting a larger shift as the photo sharing platform overtakes its larger counterpart in interactions.
“Facebook is daunting in a way that Instagram is not yet because literally everyone I know is on Facebook,” London writer Natasha Japanwala told New York Magazine. “Posting on Facebook can be an almost political act. On Instagram I have a little more freedom to just be me.”
This shift in sentiment can explain why more Instagram users engage with brands. The platform accounts for more than a third of brand interactions, in contrast to Facebook’s 6%, according to L2’s Social Platforms briefing. Brands have adjusted their focus accordingly: while Instagram brand posts have steadily grown since 2013 to 118 million, those on Facebook have plummeted to 96 million.
Facebook is trying to become a marketplace, with various experiments in social commerce. But that transition has a price: losing its original identity as a destination for authentic social interaction. That’s something worth keeping in mind for brands seeking to commercialize their Instagram presence.