Instagram’s Efforts to Win Once more Youthful Prospects Will See Video Become the Focus of the Important Feed Present
Soon, your main Instagram feed will be a combined display of relevant image posts, stories, reels and video content, all displayed in a swipeable full-screen user interface, ala TikTok, as the platform can keep up with evolving usage trends, and Stop the flow of users migrating to the short video app.
Instagram has not confirmed this in any official capacity, but that is increasingly the aim of the app, with their recent experiment with longer videos in Stories, to make essentially all video formats consistent, which will facilitate the next level of content merging.
Why should Instagram do this?
As mentioned earlier, the rise and rise of TikTok has completely freaked Instagram and parent company Meta, especially when they have their eye on the next big change and leverage their vast reach to usher in “Metaverse,” a new digital immersive experience platform This will ideally help Meta become an even more important utility when it comes to eCommerce, entertainment, social tools, etc.
But if Meta continues to lose favor with younger users, as statistics show, it won’t be able to maximize that new boost as it will be harder to get wide adoption of, for example, new AR glasses or their advanced VR headsets, as all of these new items are hard to sell when young people prefer not to spend their time in Metas Apps because they just aren’t the cool place anymore.
Sure, Meta could still win them over with advanced tools and features that could become the next major trend. But right now, the churn from Facebook and Instagram is significant, and as TikTok continues to grow, this presents Meta with various growth issues, both for its immediate and longer-term plans.
For this reason, Instagram, Meta’s most important link to youth culture, is now trying to strike back.
How will that look in practice?
In short, I would expect the traditional Instagram news feed with static posts and videos to come out very soon.
Instagram boss Adam Mosseri has already pointed out various changes in this regard. Back in January, Mosseri realized that IG wanted to merge its current video tools to make creation easier and to reduce confusion in the app.
As Mosseri explained decoder:
“We are looking into how we can simplify and consolidate ideas – not just with IGTV, but all over Instagram – because we placed a lot of new bets last year. I think this year we need to get back to our focus on simplicity and craft. ”
Instagram last month announced the merging of its video feed posts into a single format, along with the discontinuation of the IGTV brand, while the latest test of 60-second videos in Stories now essentially means feed posts, stories and Reels now all over the same video post length.
This means that soon you will be able to post full reels in stories, share regular video posts as reels, etc. Essentially, all of Instagram’s video options are adjusted step by step as the platform works, making it easier to publish video content in a single stream.
This is where this new test comes in.
As you can see in this new notification shared by user Hammod Oh on Twitter, now whenever you record a short video on the app, Instagram will automatically reel it while there is this new note on the composer’s screen as well :
“Your video can appear in reels, it can also be seen on your profile and in your followers’ feeds.”
This allows all of your videos to appear in the same places – while allowing some users to share the same thing in Stories too, which brings it all into a larger pool of Instagram video posts.
Which is the main goal. TikTok is able to highlight the best content for every user as it can pull from a wide variety of publicly posted clips which it can then display on your “For You” feed based on your preferences. Instagram cannot do this because it is restricted by the people you follow in the main feed, while neither does it open to full screen view like TikTok.
But that could be the next big step.
Late last month, as part of Meta’s third quarter earnings announcement, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said reconnecting with younger audiences will be an important focus for the company’s future.
As explained by Zuckerberg:
“Historically, young adults have been a strong base, and that’s important because they are the future. But over the past decade, as the audience using our apps has grown so much and we’ve focused on serving everyone, our services have been chosen to be best for most users, not specific for young adults. And during this time, competition has also grown fierce, particularly with the rise in popularity of Apple’s iMessage and, more recently, with the rise of TikTok, one of the most effective competitors we’ve ever faced.”
As a result, Zuckerberg says that the Meta teams “make young adults their north star“Which will try to align with younger user trends rather than sticking to more traditional processes.
Instagram’s Adam Mosseri also highlighted his stronger focus on video, stating the following back in July:
“We’re also going to experiment how to include video more broadly – full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile video.”
Instagram, Mosseri also says, is “no longer a photo sharing app” and says that people come to Instagram to chat and not to look at a digital photo album as such.
Taken together, these statements and experiments point to a big change for Instagram which, as previously mentioned, will lead the platform to move more towards a TikTok-like feed of all content in full screen, giving Instagram more insight into what the interests are of individual users, and allow them to refine the user experience specifically in line with recent user behavior.
Which will mean big changes in the process for social media marketers too – but given the various experiments and changes that have already been done, it will happen one way or another.
Really, it seems obvious, even logical, that Instagram is heading there. But it’s going to be a big change for the app, and not everyone will like it.
But again, as Zuckerberg explained in his rationale for the strategic shift:
“… this will require compromising our products and will likely mean that the rest of our community will grow more slowly than it would otherwise have. But it should also mean that our offers for young adults are getting stronger. ”
Some older users will not like it, but Meta is ready to take that risk in order to attract the critical younger user cohort.
All of this signals big changes, and since Instagram’s video tools are all coordinated, you can probably expect this sooner rather than later.
Prepare to change your IG strategy in 2022.