Around 13% of UK users and 6% of US users said they had suicidal thoughts and said they could be trace these impulses back to the app.
The Wall Street Journal, which has accessed the Internal report, reported that certain posts on Instagram have detrimental effects on its younger users, particularly teenage girls. The study found that more than 40% of Instagram users in the UK and US reported feeling “unattractive” and said the feelings started when using Instagram.
According to teens, Instagram is to be blamed for increasing their rate of anxiety and depression. The teenage users further reported to Facebook researchers that they felt “addicted” to the platform and wanted to check it less often but did not have the self-control to reduce their usage. Crucially, this reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.
To deal with such issues, Facebook has made some changes to Instagram’s user interface. “But it did end up being pretty polarizing. Some people really liked it, and some people really didn’t,” said Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri.
[4 minute read]