A lifelike social media educational tool

The fully controllable social media tool InstaClone gives students and teachers the opportunity to become aware of the dynamics behind algorithms and the reach of posts. By discussing and understanding them in a better way, students develop useful skills to better classify content and actively shape the digital future.


Duration: 2022 – 2023
Funding: Re-Boot Social Media-Lab [TUM Think Tank]
Subsidy: 123 600 Euro
Principal Investigators: Prof. Doris Holzberger, Prof. Tilman Michaeli, Prof. Jürgen Pfeffer

In addition to all the possibilities Instagram and other social media platforms offer for international networking and quick exchange of information, they are also famous for the negative effects they can have on society and mental health – especially of adolescents. At the same time, social media is ubiquitous in schools and in students' free time.

The InstaClone project addresses the negative effects of social media through an educational initiative. Programmed by an interdisciplinary team, the InstaClone educational tool imitates Instagram in terms of appearance and functionality but is completely controllable, making it the perfect tool for learning and conducting scientific case studies. It gives students and teachers the opportunity to understand and discuss the dynamics of data and algorithms within social media applications. InstaClone can be easily integrated into the teaching at secondary schools.

InstaClone is web-based and freely available to all learners. By using the built-in dashboards students can imrpove their and data literacy and teachers can take their class behind the scenes of successful posts, high reach, and lots of likes.

The goal of the project is to transform young people from mere users to creators of a digital future. With the help of InstaClone, they are able to better classify and use content. The learning application also makes them more aware of what they share and how they communicate on platforms. And finally, they get a sense of how much social media use is good for them.

A fully controllable admin board for teachers allows them to track what is happening in the classroom.

The project is part of the TUM Think Tank an der HfP.

More information about the project:

The learning application can be found here: