Using Instagram to discover underage drinking patterns

Social media platform Instagram can be used as a tool for researching youth drinking patterns, according to a recent study in the United States.

The photo-sharing app reached 400 million users worldwide in September, with a large portion of this figure made up by teenagers. Research from the University of Rochester suggests young people’s willingness to share their drinking activity on Instagram means the platform may provide more insight into underage drinking trends than more traditional research designs, including surveys and questionnaires.

Information derived from photos and accompanying text captions was found to generate considerable information on youth drinking habits, from which alcoholic brands are preferred, to the time and place of the drinking activity.

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