Facebook Feeds: Adults Share, Teens Impact Drinking Levels

For better or worse, what young adults see friends sharing on Facebook and Instagram has a major impact on their drinking habits.

According to Facebook findings, more than 40% of younger U.S. millennials say friends’ social feeds factor into their non-alcoholic beverage-buying decisions.

How such social activity influences young people’s alcohol consumption, Facebook did not say. More broadly, a full 50% of U.S. consumers say they've tried drinks based on friends’ Facebook and Instagram posts.

And -- at least virtually -- people love sharing their drinks with friends. Indeed, more than a third of U.S. diners say they enjoy posting pictures of their food and beverages, Facebook reports.

As for what drinks people are sharing, it depends on the season.

In the spring, water, juice, and sodas start off strong, while tea-related social media posts peak around Mother’s Day. In the summer, it’s all about beer, cocktails, sports drinks, water, and juice, but, by fall, coffee really comes into play.

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During the holidays, coffee talk peaks, along with more interest in beer, soda, cocktails, and milk. Throughout the colder months, wine continues to gain ground.

Facebook also found distinct difference between the way men and women discuss beverages. With non-alcoholic drinks, men like to talk about specific drinks and brands, while women discuss flavors, ingredients and health topics.

With alcohol, men prefer talking about brands and products, while women more often talk about special people and moments.

As with everything people share on Facebook and Instagram, nearly all of the drink-related conversation is occurring via mobile devices.  Coast-to-coast, a clear majority of consumers (73%) also report using their smartphones to find local stores selling specific beverage products.

For its findings, Facebook analyzed conversation data across its flagship property and Instagram, and then surveyed roughly 1,000 consumers.

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