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July 29, 2021

The Old Instagram is Dead

Kaitlin Hobbes

The Old Instagram is Dead

Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app. In a recent statement, President of Instagram Adam Mosseri declared that the app will be focusing more on how to “embrace video more broadlyーfull screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video.” This comes after a record-breaking year for the popular video app, TikTok. Surpassing Facebook downloads in May by over 27 million, TikTok has officially become a top competitor to the 17-year-old appーaside from Instagram, which is already owned by Facebook.

As Instagram begins to release changes to stay more relevant, advertisers are going to need to pivot their marketing strategies to better appease the new algorithm. Otherwise, their content could end up going unnoticed. Video content isn’t always easy to incorporate into your content. Generally, it takes a lot more planning and budget to pull off. So, now is the time to begin integrating video into your strategy if you haven’t already. Vertical video should be a discussion that brands are having during their 2022 planning sessions. How are you going to execute video for social media? How will your KPIs change? The answers may not come instantly, but it’s good to begin these conversations with your team so that you can properly set expectations.

It’s probably not your first time hearing that you need to have video in your social media strategy. So what is so different this time? Doesn’t Instagram already reward video content? In Mosseri’s statement, he indicated that full-screen, mobile-first video would be the primary focus for the app. Instagram began introducing this to us with the launch of IGTV in 2018, and more recently with Instagram Reels, which were created in 2020 to mimic the format of TikTok.

So, think of this new update as a sort of cross between Instagram Reels and TikTok, where users will be shown content automatically that aligns with their interests and behaviors, without ever needing to follow anyone. 

This short-form kind of content has proven itself to be hugely successful and is the type of content brands need to be producing to align with the new IG algorithm. Here’s how brands can seamlessly integrate this into their strategy:

Quality over Quantity

You may have an urge to start posting as much video content as you can right away. While this is understandable, it’s important to take a step back and consider your brand’s voice, your existing content styles, and who your audience is before you dive headfirst into posting. Focus on creating content that provides high entertainment value, and is quickly digestible. 

Test and Report

As with any content, the most important part of any strategy is to monitor the successes (or failures), and be able to report and turn those results into actions. Don’t be afraid to test different concepts, different video lengths or different sound effects. Use this change as a chance to test what works best for your brand and your target audience. This will not only help you get a head start compared to other competitors but will also give you some good insights into how your audience is changing their viewing habits.

Final Thoughts

Social media is a hugely dynamic medium. Changes happen every day that, as marketers, we are constantly adapting to. It’s hard to know which changes are here to stay and which are just trends. For now, it seems like TikTok-style content is taking over, but keep in mind that social media relies completely on user behavior. It’s going to be hard for Instagram to stay relevant and compete with TikTok. TikTok’s totally unique algorithm is what gives it the edge against other social apps. All of the factors that go into shaping the perfect “For You” page are what make it such an entertaining place. Plus, the app makes it so easy to find your niche and connect with other people with similar interests.

Whether your audience spends most of their time on Instagram, or you’ve already started experimenting with the latest TikTok trends, ultimately you know what is going to work best for your brand. If you ever need help making the tough decisions or making sure your brand stays ahead of the curve, feel free to contact us.

Sources Cited:

Social Media Today Article

The Verge Article

CNBC Article