social media
political communication
visual communication
political advertising

How to Cite

Bast, J. (2021). Politicians, Parties, and Government Representatives on Instagram: A Review of Research Approaches, Usage Patterns, and Effects. Review of Communication Research, 9. Retrieved from https://www.rcommunicationr.org/index.php/rcr/article/view/108


The photo and video sharing social network Instagram attracts an impressive number of users, among them political actors such as politicians, parties, and members of the government. Instagram’s focus on images, which can be accompanied by lengthy captions as well as a range of other communication tools, suggests that the platform has high potential for political communication. Therefore, it is no surprise that Instagram has attracted the interest of scholars of various research areas. This article provides a systematic review of 37 studies on Instagram usage by politicians, parties, and governments. The aim is to gather substantiated knowledge while identifying research gaps. To this end, the review focuses on three key areas of Instagram research: who uses Instagram, how do they use it, and with what effect? Methodological approaches, data basis, and applied theories are included to provide a comprehensive overview of research on Instagram. Based on the findings, points of departure for future research are identified.



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