After many years of people pining for the return of Instagram’s chronological feed, it might finally be returning – but that’s not all that’s changing!
Head of Instagram Adam Mossari has made a series of informal announcements sharing details of what to expect from the platform throughout 2022. In a recent video published on Instagram Adam has stated; ‘we’re going to have to rethink what Instagram is.’
Although there are a lot of changes that Instagram is planning to make, there are two critical focuses for the platform which have prompted some of these updates.
Instagram’s two core focuses for 2022 are:
What’s happening to video on Instagram?
Video will be the primary format focus in 2022. With the rise of TikTok, it’s fair to say that Instagram is having to up its game to compete for the user’s attention. Instagram is aiming to consolidate all its efforts towards reels and building new creative tools. For creators and brands, this means you will have to prioritise video content within your content calendars otherwise you could see a drop in organic performance.
How is Instagram giving the user more control?
Instagram has already started implementing features to support this new value such as the introduction of sensitive content control, ability to hide like counts, even extending hidden words to Direct Messages. Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri has explained that ‘to be able to give users more control, Instagram will need to be more transparent’. This means that they will be sharing how Instagram works, giving users an understanding of how to shape the platform into a tool that works for them.
Does this mean they will be more transparent with how the algorithm works? We think so! By ‘announcing’ updates, it is a step in the right direction towards transparency. A few years ago, major platform changes would be made without any announcements or explanation. By giving more transparency it means that users, brands and content creators have more trust in the platform and will hopefully invest more time, effort and of course money into Instagram.
Other aspects which are Instagram are improving in 2022 include:
- Creator network
How is Instagram making messaging better?
Recognising that messaging is the primary way that people connect online, Instagram wants to be the best place to connect with family and friends about their interests. In other words – they are making sliding into the DMs a little easier. They haven’t specified the details of what updates they will be making to their messaging function yet.
How are the changes on Instagram helping creators?
By making the platform more transparent, Instagram is hoping that this can help creators capitalise on the platform. It’s no secret that Instagram has been pretty hush-hush with its algorithm changes over the years – if you’ve worked in organic social, you know that experimenting with content is a key part in trying to grow your platform – but that could be a barrier to a lot of creators. Adam Mossari also mentioned that Instagram will be improving the monetisation products that the platform to help creators make a living.
How is Instagram updating the feed?
This will be the most noticeable update for most users as the way we see posts from friends, creators and brands will change. Users will have more control over what content and how content appears on their feeds. Adam Mossari explained that they want people to feel good about the time they spend in the app, and by giving them a choice in how they consume content on Instagram is a way to achieve that goal.
What are the three different ways to update your feed?
- Home: This is the same Instagram experience that you know today. Instagram currently served content to you based on what they think you are interested in. This feed generally is never-ending.
- Favourites: The next feed view will be named ‘favourites’ and this is a list that you curate based on your favourite Instagram accounts. These could be your favourite brands, your close mates or family. By adding accounts to your favourites feed, you’ll be unlike to miss any posts from them.
- Following: The feed we have all been waiting for – a chronological list of posts just from accounts you follow. Adam Mossari explains that Instagram has brought back the chronological feed as they recognise it’s important to have a feed where you can access the latest posts by the accounts you follow quickly.
What do the Instagram changes mean for marketers?
These updates are currently being tested and are expected to roll out in the first quarter of the year. If you are a social media manager, you will need to consider how these updates affect your plans in the next few months. The first and potentially easier action to take is to ensure that you are prioritising video creation within your content marketing plans. Secondly, you are going to have to navigate what ‘feed’ your content is shown on. The home feed will likely have your content shown to users who Instagram thinks will like your content – however in an ideal world you would like to be added to a user’s Favourite or Following feed. Throughout this feed testing and introduction period, you are likely to see your organic performance vary considerably.
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