Prepare for the Future of Instagram

It's been a month since the social media marketing world came to a standstill with one single quote from the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri. According to his IGTV post, Instagram is "no longer just a square photo-sharing app."

This quote sent marketing teams everywhere (yes, even Bozeman) into panic mode. But now that the dust has settled, we're here to tell you to pump the brakes a bit...

Let's take a step back and dissect what this announcement means.

It doesn't mean that your fav app is changing completely. Instead, its focus is shifting to video, creators, and entertainment. Now, this announcement shouldn't really be a surprise, as Instagram has been slowly evolving to keep up with the changing trends for years now, introducing Stories, IGTV, Reels, full-screen video, and so forth. 

Mosseri acknowledged that this shift is partially to keep up with the stiff competition that is TikTok and YouTube. This decision to tackle their competitors doesn't come as a shock, but it leaves some long-time users a little frustrated. 

So, as content creators and marketers, where does this announcement leave us, and what are our next steps? 

For starters, let's not work ourselves up into a frenzy. As social media experts and marketers, it's our job to ride the wave of change every few months. You can never get too comfortable in the social media sphere because it's constantly changing. 

In terms of your next steps, since no major updates related to video have rolled out quite yet, we can start by keeping an eye out for future updates optimizing Instagram for video. In the announcement, Mosseri made it clear that these changes won't come overnight. 

This decision to tackle their competitors doesn't come as a shock, but it leaves some long-time users a little frustrated. 

We don't know exactly when the updates will drop, so in the meantime, we're gonna show you how to optimize your profile for the incoming changes so that you're ready to SLAY when the day comes.

Thankfully, Instagram let us in on one of their best-kept secrets prior to this announcement: how the Reels algorithm works and the best practices to help master it. If you want to increase your chances for discoverability in the Reels tab or otherwise, you're going to want to listen up!

PRO TIP: It's important to note that every section of IG (Reels, Explore, Stories, Feed) has a different algorithm. There is no "one algorithm to rule them all," if you will.

Instagram stated that, after surveying and seeing how users react to content, they found users are gravitating towards funny, entertaining, and interesting Reels. In response to that, they're boosting those types of videos.They also recognize that videos recycled from other platforms (we're looking at you, TikTok) that include a watermark or logo or are blurry due to low resolution are not as well-liked by their user base. Any Reels that fit these qualifications are now "less discoverable" in places like the Reels tab.

So, keeping these points in mind, you should create content that is entertaining and fun (but original!), uses creative tools like text, filters, or camera effects, uses original audio that you find on Reels/ create yourself, or use music from the Instagram music library, and uses vertical video.

Stay away from blurry, recycled videos with a border around them or that are covered up by text, and, of course, those that don't meet Instagram's Community Guidelines.

See, that's pretty manageable! Following these rules from Instagram firsthand ought to give you a better shot at reaching a wider audience with your video content. All this to say, there's no better time to start creating video content than now! The future of Instagram will be here before we know it. And though we don't exactly know what that looks like yet, the best we can do as social media content creators is to be ready for anything. 

It's what we do, right?