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#Selfie: Instagram and the United States Congress

Social Media + Society. 2018;4 DOI 10.1177/2056305118813373


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Social Media + Society

ISSN: 2056-3051 (Online)

Publisher: SAGE Publishing

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics: Communication. Mass media

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



David O’Connell


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This article is based on a content analysis of the 17,811 Instagram posts made by all 534 members of the United States Congress who were seated for the duration of the first 6 months of the 115th session. I find that women are significantly more likely than men to have an Instagram account. Senators and women post significantly more times to their accounts. And a member’s personal characteristics, such as their chamber, party, and age, had significant effects on the type of content posted to Instagram. I conclude that members of Congress use Instagram similarly to how they use other social media platforms, that parties in and out of power use Instagram in substantively different ways, and that the more personal accounts of younger members suggest future changes in Congressional representation.