Instagram rated worst social network for mental health
Photo-sharing app considered to have a negative impact on body image and sleep pattern
Instagram is the worst social network for users' mental health, according to a poll conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).
More than 1,400 young people aged 14 to 24 were asked to score social media platforms for their negative impacts, citing anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image.
The photo-sharing app came bottom, with users saying it impacted on their body image and sleep pattern and increased "fomo" - the fear of missing out.
It was followed by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
The survey is the centrepiece of a report by RSPH and the organisation Young Health Movement which recommends social media platforms introduce pop-up warnings to advice people when to rest rest after a period of heavy usage.
Some 71 per cent of the young people surveyed said they would back such a system.
The report also proposes that social media platforms identify those who may have mental health problems through the content they post and then "discretely signpost" where they can find support.
A third recommendation calls on the sites to flag up images that have been digitally manipulated in an attempt to avoid damaging a user's body image.
However, the survey also found instances where Instagram was considered good. It was ranked favourably for facilitating self-expression, community building and helping users find a sense of self-identity.
Facebook rated negatively for bullying and affecting sleep patterns but positively for emotional support and building online communities. YouTube was the only site felt to have a more positive than negative impact on users.