Instagram & Video Content
Instagram is changing.
Being one of the most dynamic social media platforms in the world, it is no surprise that Instagram is constantly evolving and trying new ways to keep its followers entertained and hooked onto the app. But this time, Instagram is changing a bit. Keep reading to know more.
You have probably heard, "Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app" the statement which came out in a recent video posted by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri on his IG and Twitter. This one statement has question marks floating around a lot of peoples heads. Instagram started off as a photo sharing app, so it is obvious that this statement can come across as confusing. Adam Mosseri also said the company is looking to lean into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube.
So, what does this mean? or more specifically, what does this mean for You?
Let's start with the main changes that were discussed, so we can understand better;
Video sharing over Photo sharing: It is no secret that video content is more catchy, creative and trendy. Instagram introduced its own video creating tools, IGTV to compete with YouTube and Reels to compete with TikTok. After the success that reels have garnered, Instagram is now pushing towards a more immersive video experience for its audience. However, what this experience will look like is not definitive at the moment. Video is the future.
New Recommendations: Something that is currently under testing is IG's new way of understanding what type of content its users want to see. This is either going to be done by offering topics which users can select to personalise their recommendations or by featuring content from topics & hashtags that they do not follow onto the feed so as to expose users to new content and accounts. Either way, this is quite a significant change as users only follow accounts and hashtags that they want to see on their feed.
Creator Monetization: There has been a buzz for a while that Instagram will be introducing features to help creators earn on the app. Some say, newer features that could be expected are things like an affiliate tool that creators can use to recommend products directly on the platform and earn a commission from the sales, personalised shops to sell merchandise, improvements in the badges feature that will allow users to purchase badges while creators are on IG Live and more. This is good news for those who were looking to the app for monetary means.
Shopping and Messaging Features: There will also be some changes to the chat & messaging but these have not been discussed in detail as yet. Many say that enhanced features will help make IG shop easier to manoeuvre.
Now onto the important part. What does this mean for you?
Firstly, it means that you should not panic. As content creators, social media managers, digital marketing agencies, social media strategists, self-employed individuals and those who own small businesses and play all of these roles in a singular entity, this news is quite worrisome.
Mostly because these changes will be made to one of the most important platforms that we use to find, engage and reach our target audiences, in the present day and time. It is bound to make us feel unsure and anxious for what's to come. Many people have expressed their unhappiness about this in the comments under the video that the head of Instagram put out. But none the less, we don't need to panic.
Social media platforms are ever changing and work based on audience demand. The teams working behind them do in-depth analysis, run tests over and over again and are always researching before they are absolutely sure that major changes should be introduced to the application and they introduce these changes keeping audience preferences in mind.
The bottom line is that you have time. Time to think and to shift your focus on creating more meaningful video content, like reels, to grow on the platform. Even if we are to see changes on Instagram it is going to take some time for it to happen. Disclaimer: This does not in any way mean that you have to completely change your content strategy and work out a new plan from scratch.
Your Story, Highlight, Carousel, IGTV and Reel content is still going to be very relevant to your audience even after these changes and you must keep using them effectively in your content mix. Just throw in some fun reels, interesting IGTVs and equip yourself to be constant with postings to show up on the explore page and reach a larger audience.
All in all, this is going to be a good opportunity for businesses and content creators to switch up from photo posts to more interesting video content. It is a way for social media agencies to get out of the comfort zone and urge their clients to try something new. Instagram is constantly rolling out new features and updates and yes, it is a little uncomfortable, as change always is, but change is good and should be used to our advantage.
If you have not already tried Reels or IGTVs because its daunting or you find it complex, now would be a good time to start getting out of the comfort zone and playing around with the tools and features. Take it slow, watch IGTVs and reels from accounts within your industry to better understand what you can do that would suit you, your business and help to engage your audience.
What we really would love for readers to takeaway from this blog is, to keep an open mind and an even wider perspective towards video content. And, to remember that whenever the Instagram updates roll out, they are going to enhance the way businesses reach out to audiences and how personal accounts enjoy Instagram as a whole.
Ruth is the Content Writer & Media Executive at Social Donut 101 based in India.
She is a design, writing and pizza enthusiast and has a hard time resisting cake.