Since the beginning of its inception, Instagram has been known as THE photo sharing platform. Users could upload photos from their travels, snap a picture of their meal and share moments from a night out, all for the world to enjoy.
Over the years, we’ve seen Instagram evolve from a strictly photo sharing app to including more video sharing options like IGTV and its latest feature, Reels. Instagram just made a big announcement – they will be shifting their brand to a video forward platform. With Instagram wanting to compete with the likes of YouTube and TikTok, what does that mean for its current users?
According to the platform, it means more tools at your fingertips. Let’s check out some of the main changes coming to Instagram leading into 2022.
More Support for Creators
Instagram is following in the footsteps of YouTube and TikTok by making their platform more lucrative for creators. Since they essentially created the influencer monster, they should be responsible for feeding it right? Be on the lookout for Exclusive Stories in the next few months. This feature will allow creators to charge a monthly subscription fee so their followers can see unique content not available to the general public.
Shop til you Drop
With online shopping becoming more and more popular due to the pandemic, Instagram wants to kick it up a notch with two new features: Creator Shop and direct purchase power through the app.
Instagram is still in the early stages of the Creator Shop. This will be a platform where you can buy merchandise from your favorite influencers and content creators. In 2022, you will probably see every Etsy shop owner setting up their own Instagram Creator Shop to continue to generate revenue and expand their audience and customer base.
Instagram already has the capabilities to link to products you view on the platform. Most businesses currently use Instagram as a digital catalog, showing you what they offer and linking products back to their website for purchase. With direct links to products, Instagram has made updates to “cut out the middleman” so users can shop directly without ever leaving the app.
Instagram vs. TikTok and YouTube
Aside from being the main online source of long-form video content, YouTube has also become the second most popular search engine behind Google (who also owns it). TikTok has also gained huge popularity as the short-form video platform of choice, Instagram has thrown in their hat with Reels to serve as a direct response to those trendy TikTok videos.
Instagram just announced they are doing away with IGTV, but don’t expect to see videos on Instagram go away entirely. With IGTV being out, Instagram has now announced the launch of Instagram Video – where users can share longer videos without the formatting getting tweaked and the redirect to the different section of the app. Plus you can now simply click the video tab at the bottom of your profile and search through user videos much like you do now in the discovery tab. Other new features for video include trimming tools, filters, and the ability to tag people and locations. You’ll also be able to preview videos in your feed for 60 seconds instead of the previous standard of 15 seconds. Also new is the Watch Together feature on Instagram Chats. This will allow two parties on a video call to watch content at the same time.
For daily Instagram users, these changes will be gradual and likely not change how you use the app in day to day life. Content creators and digital marketers will have to keep up with the newest features coming to the platform over 2022 to really understand how to properly use the features to help their businesses grow. As crazy as it sounds, a great spot to keep up to date with the latest in Instagram news is Twitter: https://twitter.com/mosseri. These developers share in depth knowledge and sneak peaks of new features coming to the platform.
If all this Instagram talk is making your head spin and having you say “how can I keep up with it all?!” No worries! We have your back here at CONRIC pr + marketing. Our digital team stays up to date with the latest trends and we are here to help you grow your online presence. Visit conricpr.com to schedule your free consultation and assess your current online efforts.