The Shift Away From Pics: What Does Instagram’s New Direction Mean for Digital Marketing?

Instagram is about to change—FOREVER.

Okay, not to be too dramatic, but it does sound like our favorite photo-sharing app will be undergoing a serious overhaul. Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, recently took to Twitter to announce that within a year, Instagram may look quite different than it does now. Mosseri discussed how the company’s user feedback research has encouraged their team to shift the app’s focus away from photography, and onto four key factors: creators, videos, shopping, and messaging.

This decision comes in the midst of video-sharing apps, like TikTok and YouTube, seeing an explosion in popularity as folks flocked to them for some much-needed entertainment and escapism during quarantine. Currently, the reaction to this update hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. Many Insta users have expressed their appreciation for the app’s niche space as a haven for photographers, aesthetic images, and image-based brand building, and they don’t want Instagram to become a TikTok knockoff. Although the pushback to this news has been fairly strong, the reality is that Instagram has been heading in this new direction for a while now, hence the introduction of Reels and their growing emphasis on in-app commerce.

So, where does all of this leave you and your company? How will these decisions affect your digital marketing strategy on the app? These are the types of questions the social media experts at Get Community love to tackle.

Although the doomsday headlines may predict that this move marks the end of the road for Instagram, we don’t subscribe to such a bleak outlook. In contrast, this shift may well increase Instagram’s relevance, expand its user base, and make the app even more friendly for your digital marketing endeavors. Here are our thoughts on how the four key factors that Instagram will soon be emphasizing may impact your business.

Creators

As a creator of original content, your company should benefit from this update. For example, your page may soon be suggested more often to users based on their personal interests. As long as you continue to produce original and engaging content, this change should help increase your following and expand your outreach.

Video

Recent data shows that videos receive more engagement than images. Therefore, this is your chance to make video content the central focus of your company’s Instagram page. Reels has already proven to be a huge success for both organic and ad content. These bite-sized videos are an excellent way for users to consume your content in a format that is brief enough to discourage ending the video before it’s finished. As Instagram rushes toward video as the platform’s central form of content, the best move for smart marketers is to lean into this shift sooner rather than later.

Shopping

For businesses, Instagram’s greater emphasis on shopping is all good news. As Instagram becomes akin to the QVC for millennials and Gen Z, your company will begin to have more avenues and opportunities to reach a wider audience. These users are also more likely to click on a product ad that popped onto their Instagram feed than they would have just a few years ago.

Messaging

The hesitancy of social media users to post on their stories and feed is a trend that we have already discussed in a previous blog post. Since this has increasingly become the norm, especially with younger users, many social media sites have been emphasizing private messaging as the main form of social engagement on their apps. We’ll be watching Instagram’s changes to their private messaging feature closely. It’s possible that they will end up making it easier for businesses to send their audience private messages, similar to how text message marketing works. However, it’s too early to predict what exactly will happen, and if these alterations will be beneficial for digital marketing.

Although we might want our favorite apps to stay constant, the quickly evolving world of social media makes it clear that the relevant sites of tomorrow are the ones willing to change today. We’re looking at you, MySpace. While there are sure to be hiccups and some pushback that come along with a social media giant, like Instagram, making drastic changes to their platform, we feel assured that their effort will make all of the hard work we put into our profiles even more fruitful.

Contact Get Community to ensure that your social media strategy is firmly grounded in the latest industry info and trends, so you can remain one step ahead of the competition.

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