Two and a half million Catalan Instagram users would set up their accounts in Catalan if the app included the language. This figure represents more than half this social network's users in Catalonia and it comes from a survey commissioned by Plataforma per la Llengua and GESOP. According to the survey, there are also 850,000 Catalans who do not use Instagram now but would use the app if it included their language. They represent 30% of the Catalans who are not Instagram users.
Instagram is one of the most used social networks in the world, with more than 1 billion users. The platform can be set up in 25 languages, but not in Catalan, although this spring Plataforma per la Llengua detected that some texts on the web version had been clumsily translated into Catalan without any official announcement from the company. Instagram can be set up in 25 languages, including some with a similar demographic importance to Catalan, such as Norwegian, Finnish and Danish, which have 5.3, 5.8 and 6 million speakers respectively. Although the app cannot yet be consulted in Catalan, the Meta group, which owns it, does allow the Facebook platform to be set up in Catalan.
The survey, commissioned by Plataforma per la Llengua, also revealed that 25% of Catalan-speaking users in Catalonia use the English version of the Instagram, while among Spanish-speakers, who have the app in their own language, the percentage drops to 6%. It is clear, then, that the version of the app in the official state language, Spanish, does not satisfy the preferences of a considerable number of Catalan-speaking consumers. 13% of the total Catalan population using Instagram have it set up in English.
Another trend revealed by the GESOP survey is that, in general terms, willingness to set up the application in Catalan increases with the age of the respondent. The only exception is in the younger age groups: people aged between 16 and 29 are more in favour of setting up Instagram in Catalan than those aged between 30 and 44. Plataforma per la Llengua has already observed this correlation between age and language choice in the case of mobile operating systems.
For the Catalan NGO, language use among young people is crucial for the future of Catalan. However, as we have pointed out, the youngest population segment of all is slightly more in favour of setting up the application in Catalan than the age group between 30 and 44 years. For this reason above any other consideration, for Plataforma per la Llengua, the figures show the language sensitivity of Catalan consumers and the increase in users for Instagram that the incorporation of the Catalan language would mean.