A Whole New Instagram World


As marketers, we love Instagram and its ability to connect people with brands from across the globe. Boasting 300 million monthly active users, engagement on Instagram is 15 times that of Facebook. Meaning, if your brand isn’t using Instagram to reach your target audiences, particularly those in the under 30 crowd, you may want to reconsider.

If you and your brand are already on Instagram, you may have heard that some big changes are coming, while others are already here. For those familiar with the platform, it’s starting to feel like a whole new world!

Take note:

Longer Videos
Confinement to 15 seconds no longer! According to Instagram, users have increased the time they spend watching videos on the platform by 40 percent. With this in mind, Instagram’s latest update will soon allow users to post videos up to 60 seconds in length.

While the average user will likely be thrilled to see longer funny cat videos in their feed, brands on Instagram can also take advantage of this opportunity by telling more complex stories and conveying longer messages. Now it will be possible to provide a full-length product demonstration, debut a film trailer or champion a cause in depth.

Brands who partner with influencers to promote their products and services will also likely benefit from the update, as these influencers will have more time to endorse the brands they love.

Multiple Accounts
Social media managers everywhere are rejoicing over this new ability. Those who manage multiple Instagram pages are now able log in to as many as five profiles at once, eliminating the need to constantly sign in and out of accounts to post updates, engage with followers and make new connections.

Adding and switching accounts is easy. Click for instructions from Instagram.

New Feed Algorithm
Here’s where the panic starts. In an effort to show users more of the content they enjoy, Instagram is changing the way posts are displayed. Based on recent engagement, Instagram will now put recent posts it thinks users will enjoy at the top of their feed, rather than displaying posts in chronological order as it did before.

While this new feed is a cause for concern – we know all too well how difficult organic engagement is to come by on Facebook now – brands should NOT beg followers to enable push notifications (an option to receive notice each time a specific user posts on Instagram) to ensure their posts will be seen. Instead, focus on creating better, more visually appealing content that your followers will engage with on their own. After a few likes, your brand’s posts will show up more prominently in your followers’ feeds, and continued engagement will follow.

We also believe this new change increases the importance of smart hashtagging. In addition to using hashtags specific to your brand, include a handful of hashtags that are popular among your target audience (additional research required!) to increase the visibility of your posts and gain new followers.

Which of these changes excites you the most? Are there any we should highlight even more? Let us know!