Unfiltered: Looking at Instagrammers Through a Biometric Lens

Think about the last time you visited a museum, you were walking through the halls and you stopped at a particular painting. Why that particular painting? What caught your eye? What drew you in? And how did it move you? Often, these are really small things that you aren’t even aware of, but there is actually a way to measure this.


In our second episode of the Facebook IQ Podcast series, we’ll be uncovering our learnings from a recent Facebook IQ study that used biometrics to explore what people are experiencing from a physiological perspective when using Instagram. For instance, by using eye-tracking, we found that respondents focused their attention more on the image portion of the ad than on the other parts, such as the text associated with the ad.


To find out more about how biometrics works and why it matters, you’ll meet our in house Consumer Insights Researcher, Stephen Gray, who has a PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Chicago and headed up this research.


Have a listen here and read more below on what this means for marketers.


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What it means for marketers

The power of visuals: Visuals do a lot of heavy lifting to communicate your message and keep people engaged. When looking at ads on Instagram, respondents focused their attention more on the image portion than on the other parts, like the text. Acknowledge the power of pictures and don’t shy away from communicating your message using visuals and simple text.

The power of the platform: Context is king, people were more engaged with ads on Instagram vs. other feed-based platforms tested, and this engagement continued throughout the entire 5 minutes they spent navigating their feed, not just while the ads were displayed. Aligning your brand to an immersive, uncluttered, highly visual environment can lead to high engagement and attention.


The Facebook IQ Podcast Series explores technology’s transformative role in our everyday lives and people’s evolving relationship with Facebook’s family of apps and services. With over 1.86 billion people on Facebook, Facebook IQ has the ability to share unique data-driven insights around what motivates people.


Source: “Biometrics Study” by MediaScience (Facebook-commissioned study of 100 people ages 18–65 in the US), Sept, 2016. Feed-based platforms tested: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest