The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of visual communications on Instagram users’ propensity to engage with image-based content through online behaviors such as liking, sharing, commenting and following, and their intention to purchase the product depicted in the visual communications.
An experimental design was used to measure the effect of branded Instagram images on a sample of active Instagram users. Two features of Instagram images (subject’s gaze: direct vs indirect; product salience: low vs high) were manipulated and their interactive effect tested on online behaviors.
The paper offers empirical evidence that direct gaze and high product salience positively affect digital visual engagement. Moreover, digital visual engagement influences intention to purchase.
The hypotheses were tested on a single product category and on only two image-based features. Further studies might replicate the experiment on different product categories and include different image-based features.
This empirical study can offer communication managers important information on the image-based features that are most effective in increasing digital visual engagement and positively influencing purchase intentions in visual communications.
The study empirically demonstrates that the choice of specific image-based features in visual communication matters for increasing digital visual engagement among Instagram users.
Valentini, C., Romenti, S., Murtarelli, G. and Pizzetti, M. (2018), "Digital visual engagement: influencing purchase intentions on Instagram", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 362-381. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-01-2018-0005Download as .RIS
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