In the new social media landscape, engagement has become key to the algorithm’s heart. More than ever before, competition wages between platforms to keep audiences engaged and maximise screen time. Keep reading for a look into what’s changed, what’s in the works, and ways of optimising your content for cut through.
The time frame of reels has been extended, from 60 to 90 seconds creating more opportunity for brands to tell their story, while newly added features are making reels more interactive and customisable than ever before.
With the introduction of imported audio and interactive stickers, brands can drive engagement from followers in new ways. Our prediction? Watch this space as the reel and story products continue to move closer together. We know these apps are prioritising video – all video. While reels are having their moment, stories are still an important tool in your content arsenal.
Embrace the vertical
Instagram recently rolled out testing of a full-screen 9:16 ratio vertical feed format that takes up more space on-screen, in an effort to keep up with the popularity of TikTok.
This update means all content, including static images have been displayed in full-screen view, taking away the app’s once iconic white-bordered interface.
Good news for most users – in response to backlash, it is now expected that the full-screen tests will be paused – though we predict that this will slow, not stop Instagram’s venture into video.
Are you ready to Create?
Have you investigated Instagram’s new Creator Marketplace yet? This feature allows creators to fine-tune their interests and discover brands that align with their profile, while simultaneously assisting brands to easily locate and partner with the most relevant creators, making collaborations easier than ever before.
Are you taking Notes?
Yep, Instagram is hitting us with yet another new feature! Introducing: Instagram Notes.
This new feature allows users to post short updates or announcements that appear in the inbox section of the app, only staying there for 24 hours before disappearing. Followers can reply to your notes through a direct message.
Alongside the app’s strong focus on video, Instagram is also zeroing in on messaging, with Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, stating that “messaging is the primary way people connect online.” Instagram Notes is set to act as the platform’s middle-ground between stories and DM’s.
We’re still yet to see if this new feature will drive more engagement and conversations in DM’s, or if users will stick to other apps like Twitter that are more geared towards this type of feature.
Are you popular?
Introducing Favourites and Following – two new ways to choose how you view your feed.
The Favourites view shows you the latest content from accounts that you choose (eg. Your best friends or favourite brands and creators). The Following view shows you posts from all the users you follow in chronological order. In Instagram’s own words, this update lets users “shape Instagram into the best possible experience” As users grow more empowered to curate their feed, brands are pushed to produce content that connects even more.
With the introduction of the Favourites tab, users don’t only get to decide who they follow, but who they actually want to engage with daily. Content is now king like never before. Brands must resonate with audiences enough that they actively choose to prioritise and favourite brands.
Is your content ready to shine?
A new look to profiles means you can now pin posts to your profile grid. Up to three posts can be pinned, bringing them front and centre at the top of your profile. This update gives you more control and flexibility over how your profile looks.
For brands, this new feature lets your top content shine, whether it’s to showcase new or popular products, highlight sponsored content, increase access to giveaways or spotlight your best, highest-converting posts. Whilst first originated by TikTok, pinned content is a win for brands and users alike, offering for the first time some control over profile grid appearance.
Things are moving fast and there’s a lot to keep up with.
As Instagram continues to become a video-first platform, it’s going to take new strategies and skills to produce engaging and exciting content. Keep an eye out for our guide to taking on the world of video.
If you want to know more, please get in touch with our Social Team.