New Survey: Selfies, Food Dominate Australian Instagram Photos


Australians’ Instagram habits vary by region, but in the big cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, selfies and food were the top picture choice.

Those are some of the results coming from a survey by the Sydney-based advertising firm The Works and the University of Technology Sydney’s Advanced Technology Institute, which analyzed 3 million geotagged Australian Instagram images posted since 2010.

Douglas Nicol, a partner at The Works, told Brisbane’s Courier-Mail newspaper that many Instagram photos from cities with a prominent beach culture like Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast are “selfies” or self-portraits.

He explained: “People in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast take selfies not just out of narcissism. It’s benchmarking. Girls want to know if they are hot. Boys want to know whether their sixpack is ripped. I call it gamifying the body.”

Nicol went further to The Australian newspaper, saying that the high amount of “selfies” on Instagram showed a trend in insecurity among the app’s young user base.

He said: “If people are doing this, then that isn’t something that’s created by marketers it’s just an insecurity that lives out there. A lot of marketing taps into people’s desire to look attractive. It is part of the human condition to want that.”


Not all of Australia’s cities prefer Instagram photos of “selfies,” however. The survey found out that people in Australia’s second-largest city Melbourne are more likely to shoot photos of food. Nicol told the Courier-Mail that the trend is largely because of the significant population of Greeks and Italians in the city, which he called “food-centric cultures.” In smaller cities like Darwin and Canberra, landscapes are prominent on Instagram while in Adelaide, South Australia, Instagram users there love snapping photos of art.

The survey also pointed out that Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m. is the peak time for post Instagram photo while on weekdays it is 8 p.m. Nicol said that marketers would benefit from learning about Instagram practices since the app seen as a “leisure tool” by consumers as opposed to Facebook and Twitter, which were more likely used in professional settings.

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