Trend Alert: Instagram Students Communities

CATEGORY / education TAGS / education, instagram, student communities, trend alert Fractals LAB / Forma DATE / July 5, 2019

Trend Definition: 

Instagram class accounts helping incoming college students find a roommate, make friends and get practical informations about their future University.

Trend history: 

Connecting college students was the main reason Facebook was originally created, back in 2004. Today, American teens still need a place where they can chat with other students and solve practical problems such as finding a person to share the room with, figuring out plans for orientation and debating whether or not there are good parties for freshmen. The fact is, today’s teens don’t use Facebook anymore. They use Instagram, instead.

This is the reason why, lately, a lot of class accounts popped up on the platform to help incoming students make the transition to college easier.

The accounts are spontaneously created by actual students and they are gaining so much popularity that someone is even starting to charge people money to be featured in their feed. It’s still an exception, though.  Most of them aren’t monetizing their pages, although several account administrators said they would accept to post sponsored content from businesses such as moving companies and textbook suppliers, opening up new advertising opportunities for small companies in the U.S.

Trend evidences: 

Claire is the 18-year-old Californian behind the @alabamaclassof2023 account. She created it because, when she committed to the University of Alabama, she didn’t know anyone else going.  She started following other people who mentioned the school in their Instagram bios, and that’s how she found their three roommates. 

“Their Instagrams looked cute” – she said – “I felt like we had a lot in common. I DM’ed them and … you could just tell it was a perfect match”. 

Accounts such as @penn2023_,  @AUclassof2023 or @washu2023 all feature user-submitted photos and biographies of incoming students with their personal Instagram handle. Biographies include their interests, personality, city of origin and whether they’re looking for a roommate or not. 

Administrators normally ask people to send them a picture with an introduction vía DM and then they post the pic on the feed.

Mackenzie, a 17-year-old in North Carolina, said the community she’s met through the @usc_2023 page definitely affected her decision to commit to the school. “It makes you want to go to a school more, because it becomes real,” she said. “You see faces and get to know people. It’s more than just a campus tour” 

These students communities also use Instagram Stories to post announcements, answer questions about transportation and orientation dates, and promote school spirit.

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