How weird are young people? This was a recent question posed here at AIA Worldwide when discussing Instagram accounts that post the same picture every day. Exactly the same picture. Every. Day.

And not even particularly interesting pictures. Toasters, plungers, random celebrities, Crocs, food… you name it, there is probably an Instagram account dedicated to repetitively sharing the same image. There are simply loads of these accounts, with more popping up every day, and contrary to what logic would dictate, they can garner impressive follower numbers and likes.

This, of course, begs the question of why. WHY IN GOD’S NAME WHY?!

To the casual observer, these sort of accounts could be written off as frivolous time wasting largely fuelled by the young and time-rich. Certainly, our initial response here at AIA was one of confusion – why would people choose this repetitiveness over beautifully executed and thought out content? But our Creative Director, Will Jeffreys, had another viewpoint.

Instagram is a platform built around the idea of sharing images. There are certain ‘rules’ to follow, like making your image interesting or beautiful in some way. Make it tell a story. Add a filter, a hashtag, a pithy blurb about it.

But Will suggests that there is something beautifully disruptive about the same picture daily behaviour. It’s rule breaking, bending the platform to fit into our lives, not changing our lives to fit in with it. There is a certain rebellion that these accounts take part in – we will not be told what to do or how to do it.

There is also the other side of these accounts. Under the same picture every day, account owners are using the blurb to tell their own stories. Some use it to make a journal style entry, while others use it as a chance to talk about current events, either in their own lives or bigger topics. Same picture accounts have become a safe space to join the conversation without the pressure of having to post a new and exciting picture to do it.

Daily Picture accounts

Along a similar vein are ‘Flop’ accounts. These accounts are used as a space to discuss big issues and hot topics, everything from gun control and President Trump, to YouTubers and celebrity faux pas (which is how the accounts got their moniker). These accounts are often managed by several people, generally young people who again are looking for a safe space to discuss issues and opinions that they may not feel comfortable broaching in other forums.

Flop-accounts.png#asset:1493

If you’re still not convinced that these accounts are not simply diversions for young, bored minds, then take a look at this recent blog discussing changing audience behaviours. We know our audiences will no longer stand for time-wasting. They will literally remove themselves from social channels that don’t provide meaningful conversations and peer-centric, helpful content.

This is an extremely important trend to be aware of for our recruitment marketing activities, particularly when it comes to social.

You may think a picture of the office raffle is a worthy piece of social fodder. But if your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, well then… your audience will leave you. You have to continually ask yourself if you’re sacrificing quality for quantity. Because if you don’t have something meaningful and audience focused to say, our young rebels won’t be there to listen anymore.

Digital Strategist

Meagan is a bookworm and word lover from way back, and enjoys nothing more than a good story. Her role as Digital Strategist at AIA allows her to help clients find their own passion for words – in the form of content strategies and social media. Whether telling a story through social content or metrics and data, Meagan’s hunger for figuring out the who, what, when, where and why is almost as insatiable as her enthusiasm for brunch.

Chat books, breakfast and social strategies with Meagan on Twitter.