HONG KONG: Brands are among the top three categories that Instagram users in Hong Kong are interested in, along with friends and celebrities, research has shown.

A survey run by Instagram itself, and reported in Marketing Magazine, also revealed that users in Hong Kong are mostly young, trend-conscious people with an interest in fashion, beauty and the latest gadgets.

Although Instagram is sporadically banned in mainland China, the photo-posting app is popular among Hong Kong millennials. And a full 87% of the service's users in this age group share new products or experiences with their friends on Instagram.

The numbers indicate that Instagram is an ideal marketing platform for consumer brands, particularly those targeted at young women, as users are more likely to be women with a high level of education and enjoying increased purchasing power.

Almost three quarters of female users (72%) surveyed said they like shopping, 66% said they want to be perceived as someone who has taste and a sense of beauty and 72% said they want to be perceived as unique.

Hong Kong's male Instagram users also make an effort to keep their finger on pulse, and consider themselves trend-savvy: 75% said they are trend-conscious and 61% actively keep up to date with the latest products, trends and topics.

Overall, more than half of Hong Kong users (53%) follow brands on Instagram, with brand followers spending a longer average time scrolling their feed.

Though more than 70% of the platform's users in Hong Kong are aged between 18-34 years old, users over 35 are much more likely to enjoy luxury goods with 69% preferring designer products.

Instagram's paid advertising service recently rolled out to brands targeting the Hong Kong market, with the first batch of partners including Hong Kong's tourism board, Vidal Sassoon, Sony Mobile HK and Opensnap.

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff