A team of researchers at the University of Rochester have discovered that the drinking habits of teenagers can be monitored through the popular social media app, Instagram. By looking at photos and text from Instagram, researchers were able to figure out what alcohol brands or types are favored by different demographic groups much quicker than conventional surveys. As I am one user of the 300 million that are on Instagram, the amount of advertising and marketing research that can come from this is infinity.
Now that specific alcohol types and brands can be targeted by leading alcohol company’s, their advertising teams can use this information received by Instagram to target specific users and overall boost their product’s output and sales. Social media has now become advertisement’s biggest friend because so many people of all ages, races, and genders are constantly using them. Also, a very beneficial part of Instagram, for those looking up which products are posted most often, Instagram uses hashtags as a way to trend people, places, or things. For example: if a group of 24 year-olds were to post pictures of themselves drinking Budlight and hash-tagged
#Budlight then Budlight’s product would become trending and then they could use that information to focus their target market on the 21-29 age group.
Although the benefits through social media for alcoholic beverages for company’s worldwide will continue to increase steadily, a primary concern I found is the promotion of these pictures and texts was with underage people. The University of Rochester was able to use specific computers to analyze the profile faces of Instagram uses to get accurate guesses for their age, gender, and race. Elizabeth Handley says, “This new method could be a useful complement to more traditional methods of measuring youth drinking.” By saying this here, researchers believe these insights to underage drinking can be used as a valuable tool to evaluate the effectiveness of school and community drinking habits. I am not one to disagree with this here, but underage drinking from age 17-20 is a decently large market for most alcohol companies. If this research were to go viral, I believe that popular alcohol companies will lose profits and wish that this research never became available.
Schirole, Trupi. "Instagram Offers a Novel Way of Monitoring Teenage Drinking Habits." Medindia. N.p., 31 Oct. 2015. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.
University of Rochester. "New Technology Can Mine Data from Instagram to Monitor Teenage Drinking Patterns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 Oct. 2015. Web. 02 Nov. 2015.