New Study Finds Contradictory Behaviour Of Social Media Users

New Study Finds Contradictory Behaviour Of Social Media Users

Online fashion retailer THE OUTNET has discovered consumers are living in a constant state of harmonious contradiction that is being played out on social media. The findings were a result of a commissioned unique global media study with international Social Data Intelligence Agency, Pulsar.

Pulsar implemented innovative analytical techniques such as image recognition and text mining across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram digital platforms, providing insights for THE OUTNET’s report into findings and behaviours centralised around the words ‘Thrill’ and ‘Joy’.

The study was based on analysis of 33 million posts in five languages over the course of a month (May 2016). Data was analysed across eight of THE OUTNET’s key markets – Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UAE, the United States and the UK.

Women over the age of 25 led the conversation on Facebook, with personal growth (success, health & success) being the number one driver (78 per cent in Australia. 49 per cent globally).

“The global research findings have been integral to our strategic business planning, helping us to better understand not only THE OUTNET customer but also how the global consumer behaves across social media in relation to thrill and joy. These findings will enable us to reinforce our current strategy so that we can continue to connect with them on a deeper, more engaging level,’ said Andres Sosa, EVP, THE OUTNET.

“Customers want to be more emotionally invested in our brand and this research will help us to achieve this outcome.”

Five key topics emerged from the study, giving THE OUTNET greater insight into how consumers are evolving and adapting to a 24/7 digital world. Modern day consumers love to express their individuality and share their discoveries on social media, yet yearn for a sense of belonging with these digital tribes.

They are striving to achieve personal growth yet strike a harmonious life balance and take pleasure in creating and sharing these beautiful moments and special places.

Personal Growth & Sense of Belonging

The study found that selfies are the new status symbol, with 1/3 of all photos in the study containing a person or people in them. Selfies are no longer considered an act of individualism but instead used as a tool to celebrate a sense of togetherness and belonging.

They are also used as a means to communicate positive steps to self-improvement and the achievement of personal goals.

Individuality & Discovery

Modern day consumers are less concerned about material wealth, but what they wear and how they display it.

They are on a quest for uniqueness to portray their sense of individuality and express their identity, yet seek to belong to urban style tribes, who offer them a sense of belonging. Style trends accounted for 10 per cent of imagery posted.

Everyday Beauty

The study also found that while consumers are striving to be present in the moment and to stop, decompress and take stock in a 24-hour society, they look to share their feelings and beauty of their surroundings more than ever before. 10 per cent of all posts related in some way to nature.

Travel moments are widely shared. Cities known for their distinct style and impact on the fashion scene were most likely to feature in the conversation. These included: Parisian style, London style, New York & LA style.

From individual personal moments to the opportunities to prove we are somewhere special at any given time, social media has become society’s means of capturing and preserving memories for the future. The social media post has become the 21st century version of the postcard.


  • The Group selfie has overtaken the individual selfie
  • Sunday is the most popular day of the week to post
  • Women over the age of 25 are leading the conversations on Facebook
  • Younger generations are sharing more open feelings on Snapchat
  • The Ten most tagged locations included New York, Miami, London, Paris, Dubai, Berlin and Sydney
  • The top urban style tribes are: London, LA, New York & Paris style
  • Pets are some of the most shared types of images with Australia leading the global charge at six per cent (US four per cent)
  • The top 10 most tagged urban locations include Sydney: Walks around Sydney Harbour, The Opera House, Bondi Beach and the Blue Mountains. Melbourne: Sunsets over the city and walks in the Botanical Gardens and along the port


  • Six per cent: A sense of BELONGING with family and friends or a sense of community with others
  • Seventy-eight per cent: PERSONAL GROWTH and development – striving for self-improvement and achieving
  • Six per cent: DISCOVERY and a sense of adventure closely associated with experience and travel
  • Six per cent: The realisation and reminder that EVERYDAY BEAUTY is all around us
  • Four per cent: Exploring and expressing our sense of INDIVIDUALITY on social media


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