Sentient Discovers Which Emotions Inspire Us to Use Facebook Versus Instagram

By Sentient Decision Science, Inc.
March 13, 2017

Recently, Facebook IQ and Sentient Decision Science collaborated on a project to find out how people truly feel about Facebook and Instagram feeds.

In the past, Facebook had used surveys, interviews, and internal data analysis to explore how people use the two platforms but wanted to learn more than what people are willing and able to admit. So the IQ team decided to approach the topic in a new way—by measuring people’s emotions.

This was done by using Sentient Prime, a high-tech, web-based app that can measure emotional responses on a large scale.

“We discovered that when it comes to where they explore and express emotion, people tend to see the two feeds as yin and yang: opposite but complementary,” Facebook IQ noted.

Expressing and Exploring Emotion

According to our research, people most strongly associate Facebook as the platform where they feel funny and in control, and Instagram with feeling adventurous and creative.

     Facebook Self-Expression and Instagram for Self-Expansion

Digging deeper, we found that Millennials and older generations (people ages 37-64) visit the different feeds to fulfill distinct emotional needs.

Emotional Associations With Instagram

Why mine data from measurements of emotion?

These insights help marketers understand the interests, needs, and expectations of different demographics and communities, allowing them to tailor marketing concepts for different channels and truly make an emotional impact.

Now, when Facebook has questions about what drives Millennials in the two platforms, and how and why people use Facebook and Instagram, the company is armed with the answers.

To learn about measuring implicit emotion, visit

Sentient Prime Implicit Research Studies



For more information about Sentient Decision Science and our groundbreaking research please contact us.