Gen Z Keeps Accidentally Posting on Facebook When They Mean to Post on Instagram (Only)

Company settings made it easy to cross-post content — too easy.

learn more about Gabrielle Bienasz

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Sometimes you have to delete a post before your mom's friends see it.

According to the New York Times, a flurry of Generation Z social media users have accidentally posted content to Facebook from Instagram, leading to some comedy of error-type moments.

Ashley LaBossiere, a digital media manager at Alma Coffee in Georgia, told the outlet she posted on Instagram about "narcissistic mothers" (it was unclear if she meant self-centered mothers or mothers with Narcissistic personality disorder). But then scrambled to delete it because, as she told the NYT, she didn't want the friends of her mom to see it.

Meta Platforms asked users in 2022 through a screen prompt if they wanted to post stories or posts on main from Instagram to Facebook, both of which it owns.

The large blue button that resulted in the double posts was much easier to click on than the one with the opposite result., the NYT noted. Changing it requires going through a number of steps on Instagram.

"It feels so sneaky," LaBossiere told the outlet.

Qu'ana Underwood, 22, a behavioral health expert based in Nashville, told the outlet she was shocked when a post on Instagram about graduating brought in a wave of comments and other notifications from Facebook.

Facebook has been struggling with its reach among young people. Seventy-one percent of teens age 13 to 17 said in 2014 and 2015 they used Facebook, according to Pew Research Center. In research published in August 2022, that number went down to 32%.

Sixty-seven percent of teens covered in the survey said they use TikTok, Pew noted, in the August research.

"TikTok has rocketed in popularity since its North American debut several years ago and now is a top social media platform for teens among the platforms covered in this survey," Pew wrote.

Meta told the NYT in a statement: "We know that people enjoy cross-posting content to easily share with their friends and followers across our apps."

In a recent internal company memo, Meta said it hoped to market its metaverse product, Horizon Worlds, to young people, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Two senators, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT) then sent a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to halt any plans to bring children into the metaverse.

"Meta's plan to target young people with offerings in the metaverse is particularly concerning in light of your consistent failures to protect young users," the pair wrote in excerpts from the letter.

However, the senators added that the letter discusses "Meta's repeated failures to protect young teens from harmful interactions, advertising, and content on Facebook and Instagram, as well as Meta's own internal research, which finds gaps in the company's understanding of user safety in social virtual reality experiences."

Then-parent company Facebook knew its app Instagram was harmful to young women from internal company research, which The WSJ viewed in 2021, for example.

The company reportedly researched how Instagram affected its users for three years and found the app affected the mental health of young people and teen girls in a negative way.

"Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse," the outlet reported, based on a company slide presentation from researchers dated March 2020.

"Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves," the slide added.

Gabrielle Bienasz

Entrepreneur Staff

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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