Because using social media has become a major part of people's daily lives, many of their personal characteristics are often implicitly or explicitly reflected in the content they share. We present a study of two personal characteristicsDage and genderDrelated to user engagement on Instagram that can be determined through the characterization of images and tags. We demonstrate the strong influence of age and gender on Instagram use in terms of topical and content differences. We then build age and gender classification models that yield F1 scores of up to 88% and 74% in the detection of age and gender, respectively, and that better characterize users by images than by tags. We further demonstrate the robustness of our models using a new set of test data, with which the models exhibit greater overall performance than human raters. Our study highlights that future research should look to exploit images to a greater degree because they complement text and there are many unexamined images with no embedded text available.
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