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Instagram users are young and Facebook users are old

A new study shows that the two social-networking sites serve different age groups. Could this be one of the reasons why more people aren't celebrating the buyout?

Instead of exuberant rejoicing over the announcement of Facebook's mega-acquisition of Instagram yesterday, there's been a lot of woe-is-me chatter among the photo app's users. One of the reasons may be because the two social networks cater to different groups of people.

Instagram's users, on the whole, are quite a bit younger than Facebook's, according to a study done by consumer behavior research group Experian Hitwise.

"The audience for Instagram is relatively young, with over half of the visitors to the Instagram website are under the age of 35," research director at Hitwise Heather Dougherty writes in the study. "This is an interesting contrast to the visitors of Facebook's website, which reflects a more mainstream audience with a higher share of older users."

The study shows that over the last four weeks, the majority of Instagram users were between the ages of 18 and 34, whereas Facebook's two largest user age groups were between 25 and 34 and 55 and over.

When Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion yesterday, the wildly popular 2-year-old startup had roughly 33 million users. User activity on the app takes place within the confines of a smartphone, while Instagram's Web site is secondary. Nevertheless, according to Hitwise, Instagram had more than 10 million U.S. visits in March, which shows a 1000 percent increase in site visits since December.

Experian Hitwise