Promotional vs. Educational: Skin Condition Posts on Instagram and TikTok


New research revealed differences in the types of dermatology content present on the Instagram and TikTok social media platforms. 

Researchers publishing in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology looked specifically at content on the Instagram and TikTok social media platforms related to skin conditions affecting individuals with skin of color (specifically, melasma, keloids, and vitiligo). They identified the top five hashtags for each condition on both platforms and selected the 10 most popular posts for each hashtag based on platform algorithms. The team then analyzed 300 posts and categorized them as Educational, Promotional, or Inspirational. Content creators were further classified by type.

According to their results, 58% of the top 50 posts on Instagram related to melasma were promotional, with non-dermatologist social media influencers accounting for 50% of the content. There was a different finding for TikTok, as dermatologists on the platform tended to produce educational content and were the primary creators for specific hashtags such as #Melasma.

"Considering the high prevalence of dermatologist-creator content on TikTok, it is crucial to continue this shift toward dermatologist-driven educational content, as social media platforms continue to grow. These platforms are valuable channels for dermatologists to educate a broader audience, facilitating the dissemination of accurate medical information."

Source: Chandy R, et al. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 2024;23(7):510-514. doi:10.36849/JDD.7716

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