CAMP pitted two of our youngest interns (Generation Z’s Melissa Kolodziej and Danny Shin, two high school students about to enter grade 11) to see how two of the generation’s most popular platforms hold up. Check out their perspectives below!
PART 1: FACEBOOK
Times are changing. With social media becoming more and more prominent as each year goes by, it is becoming a part of our lives more than ever before. Teenagers now rely on social media as their outlet for connecting and showcasing themselves. They do this through a variety of platforms, Facebook and Instagram being two of the most popular.
Facebook however, is the platform that stands out from the rest. Created in 2004, this company has been a perpetual frontrunner in social media innovation and has to this day continued to be a popular social media outlet for new and current new users alike. Beyond allowing anyone to connect with others at no cost, it provides users with a steady stream of content and – last but not least – Facebook is continually updating their product with new and improved features. For these reasons, I believe Facebook is not only a great company, but is truly helping shape the world around us.
I’m hardly the only one in my age-group to think so. 41% of teens use Facebook more than any other social media outlet and it is the front-runner by a staggering 21%. (Pew Research, 2015)
12 years ago, many people assumed that Facebook would be nothing more than a distant, outdated fad by now. In contrast to this assumption, Facebook remains one of the most influential and wealthy organizations in the world.
One of the reasons why Facebook continues to be a favourite among social media users is because of their unique messaging service: Facebook Messenger. This application that was created by Facebook in 2011 – allows users to message, video chat or call anyone with a Facebook account. As a high school student, I personally find this extremely helpful whenever it comes to school assignments, since I am always one click away from connecting to any of my classmates regarding questions or ideas. I also love Messenger’s ability to create group chats which help to organize get-togethers, assignments, and other events quickly and easily.
Although many could say that this is similar to Instagram’s direct messaging feature as well as many other applications such as Whatsapp, there are some points that set Messenger apart from the others. For example, Messenger is well-known for its easy-to-use interface and only requiring one simple account in order to use the feature. I also typically use Messenger to send photos or videos to myself or others because of its fast upload speeds which outclass traditional text messaging.
Also, unlike other social media outlets, Facebook has a rich variety of content posted by users of all kinds. With new feed updates available to users every few seconds, we are always in-the-know about everything from major world events, to where your friend went on vacation.
People don’t just use these updates for personal reasons either, many government organizations such as the Toronto Police Department use this to send out Amber Alerts for missing people. These posts are then shared by people in the community, helping to spread the word faster and raise awareness.
When you compare Facebook’s content feed to Instagram’s, these important updates are virtually non-existent as well as harder to access since Instagram’s update schedule is typically much slower compared to Facebook.
My final point is that unlike Instagram, Facebook is constantly fixing and trying to improve its interface by adding features that its users would enjoy. For example, Facebook has just updated their Messenger emojis to make them more appealing for Messenger users, as well as adding the sticker feature. These new additions help to make chats between its users more fun and interesting.
When Instagram tries to do this, they often end up copying other social media platforms, making their ideas feel unoriginal and leaving their users confused. A great example of this happened just recently, when Instagram added a new “Stories” feature, which allows users to post a photo or video that any follower can see for just 24 hours. This is a blatant copy of Snapchat’s “Stories” feature, even employing the same name! Many people – including myself – were startled that Instagram would make such a dishonest move and mimic another company wholesale.
Facebook outshines Instagram when it comes to interface, the number of users, originality and much, much more. There is no doubt in my mind that it is my favourite social media platform, as well as the favourite for many other teens my age. But that said, which platform is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!
About Melissa Kolodziej
Melissa is a grade 11 student at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute in the Academic-enriched program, MaCS (Mathematics and Computer Science enriched-program). She is interested in pursuing a career in business in science. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PART 2: INSTAGRAM
Over the past decade, social media has taken over the world. Its ability to quickly and easily connect people demonstrates how advanced our society has become. There are, of course, numerous social media platforms used today. Some are specialized to be used by different individuals, groups, or even schools. However, there are two giants that stand out from the rest: Facebook and Instagram. Both are very popular platforms with millions of daily users. However, with two such strong heads, I could not help but question which is superior. And the answer did not require much thought.
Instagram, for the win.
So, we all know that Facebook is the bigger social media platform. Facebook serves around 1.71 billion daily users
, and outputs more than a million posts per day. That’s huge. Although most believe this brings endless excitement, this trait is actually at the heart of what makes Facebook inferior to Instagram. With its overwhelming amount of posts and shares, the attractiveness and uniqueness of each post suffers. And truthfully, most of Facebook’s content is very bland with little meaning. This includes repeatedly shared videos, posts that others have ‘liked’, and can be as simple as how someone feels. When I scroll through its endless feed of bland posts, I can’t help feel like I am wasting my time. In my view, Facebook has become nothing but a huge sandwich overflowing with content.
However, Instagram is different. The content found on Instagram is comprised of single images that represent memorable experiences for a user. Seemingly in opposition to Facebook, Instagram has made the trade-off of quality over quantity. Users can scroll through their entire feed in a short time, awing over artistic media. Not only has Instagram correctly focused on our natural attraction to media, but presents users’ content with quality and elegance. Naturally, users leave the app with satisfaction and excitement for their next visit – something Facebook could never achieve. Instagram allows users to create a collection of images highlighting their life’s peaks, while at the same time preventing random, dull content. Instagram is like a gourmet sandwich, with only the essential fillings. Yet, this is not the main reason why Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platform on the planet
Apart from Instagram’s superior content, the platform’s true advantage is its user friendliness. With only minimal and essential options, Instagram has successfully dodged the pressures of becoming “sophisticated”. Simply put, the entire user experience is pleasing. To begin, the posts are not ordered by recent activity like Facebook. All content is displayed in chronological order of the time posted. This prevents new posts from being drowned out by more popular posts and suddenly ‘disappearing’. Additionally, Instagram features an integrated editing software. Not every photo comes out perfect, and there is no shame in enhancing images. Instead of having to edit the image on a separate app, users can edit their chosen image and post it in a few taps. The editing software includes many professional-quality filters and special effects that any user can enjoy – distinctly something Facebook doesn’t offer. Also, Instagram features a ‘two-tap to like’ control that is very iconic to itself. This feature makes ‘liking’ images very fast and the entire scrolling experience very fast-paced. Instagram’s user friendliness matched with its quality content is a strength that Facebook can’t hope to match at this point.
The last reason why I love Instagram more than Facebook lies within one of its key features. Found along the bottom toolbar, the search and explore page cannot be left unmentioned. Despite being an active user for over 3 years now, I am always able to use the search and explore page to find new, interesting accounts on topics I am interested in. This is due to Instagram’s unique algorithm that displays images based on similar accounts I follow, or photos I have ‘liked’. This has brought forth numerous accounts closely related to my personal interests and friends I would have otherwise had difficulty finding. This iconic Instagram feature is not only helpful, but greatly increases user enjoyment by introducing an element of exploration to their journey.
Instagram knows what it does best, and it sticks to it. Its simple concept allows it to attract a large population, while still maintaining its elegance. Meanwhile, Facebook has only grown more complicated and overwhelming with its unwieldy feed of dull posts and unnecessary features. Simply put, Instagram is the better social media platform. And it doesn’t look like Facebook will be catching up soon. So what are you waiting for? Ditch the messy sandwich and log into your gourmet experience!
Now, that’s all I have to say. Voice your opinion by commenting your preference below!
About Danny Shin
Danny is currently a high school student at William Lyon Mackenzie C.I., and is a part of MaCS (Mathematics and Computer Science-enriched program). His passion lies in modern marketing, technology, as well as the sciences. He can be contacted through email at email@example.com, or Danny Shin