You put the updates in, you take the updates out, you put the updates in and you shake them all about…
If you’re wondering why Instagram is doing the hokey pokey with us, it’s because there’s been a ton of user backlash against their most recent updates. Those updates included making a full-screen vertical video (a la TikTok) the default when you opened the app and shoveling more recommended posts from strangers into your feed.
We’re back to the Instagram we know and love for now, but according to an article from The Verge, the step back is a temporary regrouping. Driven by internal data that says that time spent watching Reels is up by 30%, the platform is continuing its pivot towards short-form video. It’s just a matter of time before those changes get re-implemented.
So what does that mean for us?
-Keep creating video! Your video content now lives not just in your grid, but also in the Reels tab within your profile. Fill that sucker up for more engagement from people who land on your page, and also to get the algo’s attention.
-Hop on the carousel. Carousels (multi-pic slideshow posts) give you bonus chances to show up in someone’s feed. Each time you show up, it’ll be with a different pic from your carousel, so make them all engaging and offer reasons to tap through the whole set.
-Embrace the rectangle. Squares are so 2016. Instead of heading to the ol’ 1080×1080 template when you fire up Canva, try a 1080×1350 portrait style image instead. You’ll get more screen real estate (and eyeballs), and you’ll be ahead of the curve when IG takes the plunge (for real this time) into those full-screen graphics.
-Put key points IN the video. Full-screen graphics mean that captions and descriptions are going to be de-prioritized. If you’re trying to get a point across, put it in the video (don’t forget to use subtitles) – or actively direct people down to your caption.
And as always: create useful, engaging content that people want to share with friends and fam! Think beyond your immediate follower list. Because when you create shareable stuff, your followers put it in front of other people. The Zuck himself says:
“One social trend that we’re seeing is that instead of people just interacting in comments in their feeds, most people find interesting content in their feeds and then they message that content to friends and interact there.”
In short, IG might have rolled back its changes in the short-term, but we can all see the writing on the wall. The success of TikTok and the influence of parent company Facebook are driving a long-term shift to video – and full-screen video at that. The more comfortable you get at creating immersive, vertical video that stands by itself (and that people are inspired to share), the more you’ll be able to go with the algorithmic flow.
Want to see how it’s done? Follow me on Instagram and let’s get sharing!