Instagram's New Full-screen Home Feed Update: What Marketers Need to Know
It seems that Instagram has made its decision. It is going to change…or update! The ranking algorithm is changing and now, so does the viewing! Adam Mosseri, Head of the Social Networking Service, talked briefly about this recent Update on a video uploaded on his IG account.
What we know so far? Instagram is becoming Vertical and it is going Full-Screen! What we also know for sure? Users will have to get accustomed to a new kind of IG experience and Marketers, Creators and any professional that uses the Meta-Owned service will have to re-align their design, content and strategies with the future face of Instagram!
Why this, why now!
The shift is clear! We are moving from image to moving image. Instagram leaves behind its original, traditional identity and is heading towards a new one. Maybe this is what the adoption of this new format means: New Identity.
Pictures are taking one step back (or many) and short videos are marching on. IG is not only promoting original content; it actually promotes the use of a new medium; a new type of posting. Tik Tok was the beginning. Google also entered the milieu dynamically and even YouTube introduced its Shorts version…Could Instagram have remained inert?
Maybe insisting on its original nature would eventually render the Social Network obsolete, archaic and irrelevant. Maybe Instagram had no other choice than to follow the current trend. Thus, the creation of Reels!
Why Instagram decided to proceed with these updates now, has been the subject of much discussion. This whole new approach is something more than just a format update. It is maybe the concrete proof that Instagram is trying to steer towards a different direction.
Reely? It is Reel all too Reel! It’s Reely soon! In Reel time! Keep it Reel!
We can play with it, joke about it, take it more or less seriously (or Reeliously) but Instagram’s latest updates have been hugely influenced by this recently introduced tool.
- Reels was able to increase Instagram Users by 4.34% between October and November 2019
- 87% of Gen Z’s view Reels and TikTok as “basically the same”
- The IG Reels Feature Generates 67% More Engagements than Standard Instagram Videos
- 61% of Gen Z TikTok users plan to spend more time on Reels
- Brands Receive More Engagement on Instagram Reels than On TikTok by 387,000 More Likes
Reel’s ascending and its ascent is linked to Gen Z; a customer base that, at the moment is defining and hugely influencing the market (In a way maybe no previous generation has ever done).
Predict and there are one billion ways you can be wide of the mark, even if the predictions were meticulously calculated and logically sound! Who could have foreseen Instagram’s latest changes? One thing is sure though, more will follow (and this is not a prediction; change, after all, is a natural element of the market). But what these changes are going to be and when will they be revealed to us…? Who knows?
Some even begin to whisper: Will Instagram just follow the others? or will the platform use these latest Updates as a dynamic push in order to embark on its own new unique path?
But while we wait to see what Meta’s plans hold for us, some planning can still be done as some constants will remain unaltered; at least Short-Term!
- E-Commerce and Shopping on Instagram will increase.
- More than half of Instagram users look for new products on the platform
- Good creators will be more valued
- Long videos are a thing of the past
- Content is the most important thing!
- Social Media users (and we are not talking only about the Z’s) are becoming more conscientious (Environmental and Socioeconomic issues condition consumers’ decisions and patterns)
Marketers: Adapt! Users: Decide!
Technology is about the newness and the nowness! To strategize in fluid environments is very challenging, but at the same time necessary and extremely interesting. Marketers, Influencers and Creators must always be eyes wide open. They need to grasp all the tangibles and intangibles of a market and a digital space, full of twists and surprises!
The Design, the content, the medium, all Marketing & Branding actions must be relevant to every Update. Social selling for e-commerce will have to be rethought and reset (again and again if necessary). Adjustments must be made!
Take advantage of IG’s Home Feed Update!
Now that marketing will be mostly relying on video, now that the main feed will take up the entirety of the screens and the users will be able to skip to the next post performing a simple swipe up motion, now that streams of suggested video-content will flood the app, now that the audience is accustomed to receive huge chunks of content (turning easily most of it into spam!) yours must catch the eye (and the brain) instantly!
1. It is going to be more visual, so make it more visual-friendly! Vivid, direct, informational with clear messages! This is how your (video) content should be. No confusion! It is also short (15 seconds), which means that it must be highly condensed but meaningful.
2. Be accurate with your targeting. Select carefully your audience. It is better to be specific and on-point to a public you choose to address to, than general and vague to everybody. (And do not worry! There are ways to broaden your customer base!)
3. Make sure that the buying process is practical and easy. Time is always an issue. When clients are about to spend money, no technical problems (or any other reasons) should make them reconsider or postpone the purchase!
4. Connect your content and product with real-life moments! An update or a change aren’t solely technical matters. The whole experience of the platform will be entirely new and different. Users will need some time to get used to it and so will the professionals. But the keyword to unlock IG’s new reality is Experience.
Experiences! This is what creators and marketers must keep in their minds. Feelings! Memories! Mind voyages! So, embrace the Updates! Experiment with them! Use them and the Users will undoubtedly respond!
Optimal Social Media presence means competitiveness! Top-quality, targeted content, means good business! Pure creativity means growth! And all the aforementioned combined equal profit!
To just promote (not to say sell) a product is a thing of the past. The present demands to create something bigger, more encompassing and general; it is time to touch, move and compel! Make people feel! It is about the product (it will always be the most important!) but, now, it is also about the concept behind it!
It might seem strange, but sometimes the medium alone will set the tone and will dictate a very strict and specific context. Consequently, ideas and content must be expressed and formed in ways that they fit the frame, and nowadays the frame is full-screen and moving!
We are witnessing a general shift; in the social and the technological. Instagram goes from the image to the moving image; all its latest updates force us to create differently! So, let’s! Let’s make it more interesting, let’s make it more modern, let’s make it more truthful!
Don’t let your content be the last forgotten post; make it the next interesting (and moving!) stop!
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