Understanding demographics in Instagram and Facebook

What are demographics?

Instagram and Facebook’s demographic figures include gender, location and age. These can help you get an idea of the audience who are following you. You may know some of this intuitively: you may have a product (if you’re a business) or interests (if you’re an influencer) that naturally appeal to certain genders or age groups, and your following may be focussed near where you live, or their location might be influenced by the language you post content in. Other times, a change in your demographics could indicate you’re gaining traction in a new territory or

Discrepancies in data

Mismatched total followers and demographic totals

Instagram and Facebook know a lot of data about us, but not everything. You may notice that if you add up the male, female and unknown users against the gender breakdown, it doesn’t add up to your total followers. There’s a couple of reasons this can happen. Some accounts don’t represent natural individuals, but rather refer to companies, organisations or other entities. Some demographic values may not apply to these accounts. Additionally, we believe Facebook and Instagram calculate their demographic data using a representative sample. This means they can create a roughly accurate representation of your followers without taking every follower into account, saving them processing power and simply filling in the gaps where they don’t have the data.

“Unknown” gender

If you view the gender data for your Instagram account directly on their app, you’ll see they provide a pie chart with percentages for male and female. On our pie chart for gender, we also include an “unknown” segment of the pie, and this may mean the percentage totals we show differ slightly. This “unknown” segment is given to us directly by Instagram, they have just chosen for some reason to exclude it from their own chart.