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Instagram Update

By July 12, 2021July 13th, 2021No Comments
A cell phone shows the Instagram Reels splash screen

Instagram, the visual social media platform recently announced that they are “no longer a photo-sharing app.” Instead, Instagram is shifting its focus over to compensating creators, video, shopping, and messaging. This doesn’t mean that users won’t be able to share photos anymore, because that functionality will still exist. However, what has changed is what content users see first including content from accounts the user doesn’t currently follow. We break down the Instagram update happening now below.

Four New Areas of Focus

  • Instagram’s research showed that users come to the platform to be entertained. Instagram believes that a big part of entertainment will include video. Instagram is experimenting over the next few months by recommending videos to users from accounts the user doesn’t follow yet. This is similar to the way both TikTok and YouTube suggest content to users. Instagram’s video format is called “Reels” and has been criticized for imitating many of the same features as TikTok. Reels are now the preferred format for the Instagram algorithm.

  • In addition to pushing out more video content, Instagram is updating monetization features to compensate creators. Creator shops allow Instagram users to set up a shop directly in the app or connect their personal and business profiles more easily. Affiliate commerce allows creators to be compensated by brands for their recommendations based on the number of sales the creator pushes through. The Brand Content Marketplace allows brands to partner with creators that match up with their brand values.

  • The pandemic brought online purchasing into the spotlight and Instagram is looking to capitalize on that with expanded shopping options. Instagram hasn’t revealed any specifics on this area, but with 131 million users clicking on shopping posts per month, they are looking to capitalize on this trend.

  • Finally, Instagram is focusing on messaging. More users are using messaging features on social platforms and Instagram is updating its messaging to include a visual component in which the user can reply to a DM with a photo. More updates to messaging are planned.

How Does the Instagram Update Affect You?

What does this mean for businesses that advertise on Instagram? For retail businesses, the new shopping platform will make it easier to sell their products. Brands interested in collaborating with influencers will also benefit from these changes. For businesses that have Instagram accounts, the biggest change will be switching over to more video content. Creating more video content will take more time than posting photos. Businesses should budget more time for content strategy, creation, and implementation.

If your business needs help with social media management or paid social media ads, Baseline Creative can help! We have a team of strategists who stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices. Contact us today.