Posted on April 11, 2016 by
Just when we thought we found the perfect social network, shift happened; Instagram announced updates and social media marketers everywhere began worrying like Chicken Little. With the coming addition of an Instagram algorithm to determine the content order in a user’s feed, is the social media sky falling? What do the impending updates to Instagram mean to social media marketers? Should we all freak out?
According to Instagram, “You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most.”
The newly announced Instagram algorithm intends to improve user experience by showing content most relevant and interesting to the user. As Jenn’s Trends – one of our favorite authorities on Instagram – further reminds us, Instagram says “the order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post.”
What does all of this mean to social media marketers and businesses on Instagram? No one knows exactly how this algorithm will work. However, for a brand or a marketer, the job description remains the same; one must continue to create, curate and distribute the best possible content in order to inspire, engage and grow an audience. So, if a brand or Instagrammer presently sees fantastic and growing engagement, we feel pretty confident in thinking that their content will continue to be seen uninterrupted.
If a brand currently struggles with engagement, then creation and curation of better and more engaging content persists as job number one. Time to understand exactly what followers like, what they love, and how to attract more of them. Instagram updates or not, if this code hasn’t yet been cracked, there remain bigger issues to worry about than a new Instagram algorithm.
Instagram Update Freak Out
If you follow Instagram even casually, you likely noticed the seemingly collective Instagrammer freak out a couple of weeks ago. Almost everyone and their mother begged followers to turn on notifications so no one wouldn’t miss a single post. Did that leave you wondering about the significance and urgency of turning on notifications?
At Roaring Pajamas, we believe it both unnecessary to turn on notifications and – quite literally – too noisy. Think about it, do you really want to hear that annoying “bing” each time one of a handful (or more) of Insta-faves posts? Instead, spend time liking and commenting on posts. Give Instagram’s mysterious new algorithm reason to know which posts and posters you like or love. And, of course, let your favorites know what you love so they can create more of that special Instagram magic.
Other Social Media Changes
While Instagramers plead for followers to turn on notifications, a couple of other social media changes, or lack thereof, also made some news.
Starting on March 29, Instagram intends to update the video capability for users to share videos of up to 60 seconds. Apparently, 15-second videos didn’t prove long enough to fully showcase one’s creativity, especially since in the last six months the time people spent streaming videos increased 40 percent!
In addition to the Instagram updates, Twitter recently announced that – despite rumors – it is not changing tweet character limits. Jack Dorsey stated that Twitter intends to keep the 140-character limit, as it “allows for of-the-moment brevity.” Enough said.
Can You Survive?
While these are the most buzzed-about recent social media updates, the Roaring Pajamas team also finds that social media platforms often make smaller and unannounced changes. No doubt we will see many more changes in the coming months, both large and small. The team at Roaring Pajamas plans to continue to monitor and keep you posted on the Instagram updates, Twitter changes and the myriad of other large and small changes along the way. And we assure you that, despite what Chicken Little may say, the sky isn’t falling. Social media marketers need to stay on their toes, keep current with updates and – most importantly – continue in the business of creating awesome content. Do that and you will survive.