On the 30th of June, Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri declared that Instagram is “no longer a photo-sharing app” in an announcement of Instagram’s new shift to video content for creators. But what does this mean for those who use Instagram to market their business? We jump into a quick analysis of what the new Instagram changes may mean for you.
Is Instagram Switching to Video?
Throughout 2021 Instagram changes have tried to reevaluate how Instagram is used by creators with the new updates looking to focus on four key areas, creators, video, shopping and messaging in order to compete with the viral popularity of other platforms. In his announcement, Mosseri gives a nod to sharing platforms such as TikTok and YouTube leading the way in the rise of using video online to entertain.
Changes are coming to video on Instagram 📺
At Instagram we’re always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience. Right now we’re focused on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging. pic.twitter.com/ezFp4hfDpf
— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) June 30, 2021
Coming after Instagram made feed and story insights available on desktop, much to the relief of social media managers everywhere, Instagram has announced the switch to video-focused content in place of its traditional static image focus. Changes to the Instagram algorithm mean that video will soon be the de facto method for advertisers to share their products, services and news with the world.
What Will the New Instagram Update Mean for Advertisers?
Whilst it is unclear exactly how the new Instagram video updates will affect advertisers, one thing that is for sure is that those using video-based advertising will benefit from the new changes. Instagram has announced the switch to showing users full-screen, recommended videos in their feeds.
With the option to share 15 and 30-second video reels or longer live videos, Instagram video may be a regular feature in user’s feeds with the potential to follow sponsored content trends set by other platforms, a double-edged sword when it comes to user’s potential attention span and the willingness to watch longer content from brands they do not yet follow.
Creating video ads on Instagram could be more time-consuming but advertisers needn’t worry about creating videos that fill the full 120 seconds Instagram video allows as studies have shown that shorter video ads of around 26-30 seconds could actually perform better than the longer form Instagram ads. In terms of engagement, average engagement for video posts has shown to have increased by around 10% more than comparable photo posts on Instagram meaning it could be worth incorporating video into your social media strategy as Instagram evolves in order to catch the eye of potential prospects.
Instagram has made clear that they believe their users visit the app for entertainment and has begun implementing changes that lean towards video content that will lead users to engage more. In terms of brands and influencers hoping to profit out of the platform, these new changes will hopefully mean more opportunities to reach new audiences and individuals outside of their current networks and monetize Instagram to greater effect. This combined with the new Reels and Live insights may mean it is easier than ever to create winning social media campaigns on Instagram.
Does Instagram Want to Be the New TikTok?
There’s no question that TikTok is an immensely popular app that has exploded onto the scene and is particularly popular among younger audiences. The video-based app allows users to view new video content each time they enter the app with streams curated based on their viewing habits. In the words of Instagram head Adam Mosseri, “TikTok is huge”. With the introduction of mobile-optimised video viewing, it may seem like Instagram is attempting to lean into that rapid access video craze to bolster its popularity.
However, this has lead to a number of users questioning whether this is taking something away from what Instagram has become known for, the sharing of square-shaped beautifully-curated static images. Instead, could this lead to a blurring between apps with a collection of similar apps competing for the same niches?
Whilst Instagram has been reasonably vague about what their new video-first ethos might entail, they have announced a number of other features to help influencers and sellers profit from Instagram.
Part of this includes their new affiliate tool which will allow creators to share products with their followers easier and earn commission on purchases they drive. Creators will be able to tag products from brands or use Shops to sell through their Instagram profile and tease new product launches. Combining this with Reel and Live insights along with Instagram’s already existing tools may give Instagram advertising a boost with actionable insights that make it easier than ever to monetise the Instag platform.