Changes to Instagram & Why It’s a Bad Move

If you are a marketing professional, you know Instagram recently announced a few changes. When IG was launched, the primary focus was images – which was great for photographers and influencers.

Fast forward to 2021, and we now have other widely popular platforms in the mix – all of which IG is trying to compete with.

“We’re no longer a photo-sharing app,” Instagram CEO Adam Moserri said in the video. “The number one reason people say that they use Instagram, in research, is to be entertained. So people are looking to us for that.”

Instead, he said the data the company collected suggests its users turn to the app for video, shopping, and messaging content. In updates set to roll out to the app in the coming months, he said much of the content on the app will begin to be tailored to those categories.

It’s a shame and a bad move for Instagram.

All marketing pros and platforms are starting to realize that content creators are now one of the key MVPs at the work place. Social media platforms now have ‘creator’ accounts, creator studios, tools set up for specifically for creators….and so on.

As things become more digital, more platforms will come along. With that, digital spaces will also get a lot more congested. The need to stay relevant and top of mind will be a challenge for most. I truly believe most companies will start to really invest in digital creators and marketing pros.

With that being said, I believe Instagram is missing that factor. Content creators are key. People who utilize the app (and spend money on ads) are key. Instead of content creators learning new programs and chasing after new platforms, it should be the social media platforms collaborating with these individuals.

Instagram has lost their focus: photography. To an extent, you can also consider visual media and graphic design part of ‘photography’ too. After all, it’s image based. Video and e-commerce are great, but I don’t believe they’re the platform for it.

I am a firm believer of building onto what you have. Sure, video is great. But changing algorithms to strictly focus on video – not a great idea. That’s what Tik Tok and YouTube are for. And e-commerce….well, huge platforms like Amazon have that locked down. I think this is a move that will cause them to lose a lot of momentum and lose a lot of users.

It seems the focus on customers / users is now replaced with being the best and first. In reality, you can’t be the best in all things. A foundational element to marketing is understanding who you are and what you do. Business owners and IG alike should be looking to their ideal audience, their actual audience and considering what is best for them – combined with what it is the business offers and does best.

Think of how many amazing photographers and visual media designers there are out there. Not to mention, we all bring our expertise to the table in a certain field or two. Instagram is chasing never ending, ever changing digital trends. That’s what hurts all businesses – not understanding what you offer, your strong points and why exactly people are working with you or purchasing your products. The focus should always be on the mission and basis of the business.

Change can be a great thing, but for Instagram, I think this will be another frustrating ‘rule’ tossed in the mix. They will now be playing catch-up to larger platforms like Tik Tok and YouTube – and probably investing millions trying to rework software.

Speaking of photographers, marketing pros also know content creation and curation is becoming a thing. Great photos are great, but consistent aesthetic and storytelling is the new foundation for businesses. Can you take good photos and can you also piece them together in a way that keeps viewers interested? Instagram is the perfect platform for that. Each profile is like a mini editorial piece – easily viewed. Instagram makes it possible to visit a business profile and quickly assess what type of content and place of business they are.

Rosemary Fields

Freelance Creative Designer Content Creator Photographer + Videographer Travel + Lifestyle Editor