Britons judge others based on their social media profiles, and two-thirds post images to their own profiles to make their lives seem more exciting, according to new research.

A survey by smartphone maker HTC found that more than three quarters of those asked (76%) said they judged their peers based on what they saw on their Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook profiles.

In order to make our own pages and lives appear more exciting, 6% also said they had borrowed items to include in the images in order to pass them off as their own and make others jealous.

More than half of those surveyed said they posted images of items and places purely to cause jealously among friends and family.

Behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings said the trend was unsurprising given the rise of social media.

“We’re living in a world of instant communication,” she said.

“Fashion and style used to live and die in magazines; now people are in search of authentic, peer-to-peer recommendations as well, making social media an equal power house to magazines and newspapers.

“With images being shared in an instant we now demand to know what our friends are wearing, or what celebs are buying, as soon as they have the item in their hand.”

Such is the influence of social media sites like Instagram, 76% of those asked also said seeing items on social media influences them to buy them, with men more likely to take style advice and buy what they see.

HTC’s Peter Frolund said: “In 2015, everybody is a photographer, and more and more we are seeing people really use photography to express themselves and show the world exactly what makes them who they are. From snaps of people’s homes to perfectly laid out outfit shots, every image counts and smartphone photography has never been more important.”