Have you ever thought about who runs Instagram? Honestly, I had not given it much thought until this recent video went viral. For clarity, Adam Mosseri is an American-Israeli businessman and the head of Instagram. He formerly served as an executive at Facebook.
I want to share a video with you from Adam published on July 5, 2021. I had to locate this copy on youtube due to the fact that Mosseri didn’t feel the need to publish this announcement outside his social media platforms.
Pay close attention to the 0:59 mark where Adam Mosseri states, “We are no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app.” He goes on to frame the future focus of Instragam will be entertainment. Entertainment and video, to be specific.
Here is that video shared from YouTube: https://youtu.be/ZVVefE_HXgU
Masseri claims a survey revealed users stated they visit the platform to be “entertained.” 1:29 mark, “People are looking to be entertained, there is stiff competition, and so there is more work to be done, and we have to embrace that.”
In my last post, I asked how many of you are using Instagram as part of your strategy and asked have you tried Instagram Reels yet. My experience with Instagram Reels so far has been positive. The Reels tool provides remarkable tools to craft elevated videos, even for the novice. Unlike any other content you can publish on the platform, Instagram Reels are shown to people with the potential to like your content and NOT JUST YOUR FOLLOWERS. Making Reels feed a game-changer for any brand. Think Facebook organic, the likes of which hasn’t happened in years.
Now here in his announcement, Mosseri notes users will now be able to search and view based on topics of interest, not just who they follow. This new algorithm change will then show you more of that type of content.
For me, the takeaway may be for the interim that many of us have a unique opportunity to gain massive followers quite quickly. Craft a content strategy around your brand and frequently publish Reels (up to 30 seconds), knowing the algorithm will work for you to show it to a warm/relevant audience.
This Adam Mosseri announcement video left me with more questions than answers to share. I cannot fathom who they surveyed in mass that leads to the data set conclusion that the Instagram audience wishes to be entertained. I share as item number two this video Mari Smith (marismith.com) released on her Facebook group (Mari Smith’s Social Scoop – Private group – 16.9K members), countering this logic herself.
Here is what I hope you take away from this post. Get comfortable with video, in particular Instagram Reels tools. Cross publish the Reels you create by posting to your page and feed simultaneously to allow for wider distribution. Save the video and re-post it on all your other platforms. As always, the real tangible asset you have is your brand and its visibility in the channel. That once earned cannot be taken away from you no matter what changes come down the path. Build your brand by knowing what you do best, what you stand for, and how you help your tribe.
Even brands that once enjoyed stellar visibility will need to take action to stay top of mind and remind consumers of their brand’s value. Consumers’ attention span is 3 seconds, and consumers are constantly distracted by the new shiny thing. The stats prove that video outperforms still images so dramatically it is no wonder everyone is focused on carrying their message in the video. What is yet to be determined is what happens to the power of brand building on the old ideas at Instagram, where amassing followers was the winning strategy? This new focus from the top-down is poised to strip those massive follower platforms of the power they wield in favor of Instagram, the “gate-keeper version of visibility by engagement.”
Remember, marketing is relationship building, not selling. Changes from the top down at all platforms are designed in theory to allow brands to lean into their strengths by crafting content to help, support, and educate their followers. Not sell. Which leaves me with this last nugget. For those who rely on someone else to promote your brand online, how will you gauge their success if you are not working in unison with your social media reps to ensure they highlight your strengths and not just publish ubiquitous curated content?
What do you think about the proposed changes to the Instagram ecosystem? Will you seamlessly embrace video? I would love to hear what you think and even see what you are crafting.