You found it, your holy grail social network. Your perfectly edited photos and curated content have resulted in a steady stream of new followers that actually convert to sales. Instagram, we love you. We think you’re great. We’re happy to spend a ton of time with you.
But now you say you’re changing, Instagram, and we have trust issues. You say you have our best interests at heart, but we’re not so sure. What does this new Instagram really mean?
The raw deal on the new Instagram
According to Instagram, they’ve updated the algorithm of their news feed. Instead of the normal, chronological order that posts have historically been displayed in, now they will appear “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.”
All posts will still appear, but with the posts most relevant appearing first.
What does that mean for Instagram?
While Instagram spins the change as being user-focused, it’s actually a drive to further monetize the social media giant. As the current king of social media engagement, Instagram delivers 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement than Twitter.
This change gives Instagram the ability to control when and how posts are seen, which gives them greater control over paid ad content. So, for brands with pockets large enough to pay for engagement on Instagram and other social sites, the change will have little impact, and may even work in your favour.
However, for the thousands of businesses that relied heavily on Instagram to drive customer acquisition and retention, that gravy train has left the station.
And even more than that, this change might completely disrupt the popularity of the social network. After all, users loved Instagram for its organic nature, and the authenticity of the community.
What does it mean for you, and your brand?
Calling it the death of organic social might be a touch overdramatic, but it’s certainly a wake up call for brands that have relied heavily on this free, or mostly free, means of social communication.
Still, creating content that is targeted, relevant, and engaging for your followers will continue to yield you results. But, if you want it to continue to perform for your brand like it has in the past, it’s time to up your game with those filtered images – and perhaps time to think about that chequebook.