Imagine using Instagram without knowing the number of likes for posts. How would you change your marketing strategy?
We’ve heard many interesting announcements about Instagram in Facebook’s F8 Conference. Except for the news about Facebook’s big redesign, there are also some changes coming up on Instagram.
Some changes can improve the creativity, others will improve the ecommerce experience and there is a test that could change the concept of the Instagram experience.
Here are the most interesting announcements.
A new Create Mode on Camera
Instagram Stories have reached 500 million daily active users and they make a very engaging feature for Instagram. They’ve realized though that people don’t express themselves simply by taking photos and videos. That’s why Instagram is introducing the Create Mode in the camera. The Create Mode allows you to share what you’re doing or thinking without the addition of a photo or video.
It should encourage free expression in a simpler form that does not rely on filters and stickers.
This idea can make Stories even more engaging as people will have new options for sharing glimpses of their days even when they don’t have a photo to share.
Donation stickers will make fundraising easier
Donation stickers are arriving in the US and they will make fundraising easier. From now on, you’ll be able to raise money for a nonprofit straight through Instagram Stories. It’s a simple process to create your own fundraiser and 100% of the money will go to the nonprofit of your choice.
The feature will also roll out globally soon
This is a great feature for nonprofits who will see an easy way to empower their Instagram supporters. Community building can now be linked to fundraising directly through Instagram Stories.
Again, Instagram understands that Stories can be very engaging so they want to facilitate fundraising in the simplest way. It should be a good test both for donors and nonprofits.
Direct shopping from creators
Instagram is planning to improve its e-commerce capabilities this year and it’s heading one step closer to its plan. People will be able from next week to shop directly from their favorite creators without leaving Instagram. No more DMs to ask for details as you will be able to find what the creators are wearing to buy it.
The test will begin with a small number of creators but we’re curious to see how this goes. It can be a great way to enhance the power of influencers in endorsing products. Brands might explore a new method of direct promotion so the messaging and the call-to-action will be more important than ever.
Once this feature rolls out to more creators, Instagram is becoming more serious about e-commerce and we’re waiting to see what’s next.
Test: hiding Instagram likes
One of the most discussed announcements had to do with a test. Instagram is running a test in Canada that removes the number of likes from photos and videos. Likes will still count but they will only be visible to the person who shared the content.
The algorithm would still rank posts based on the number of likes but your followers won’t be able to find out this number.
Thus, it reduces the pressure of aiming for likes since your friends won’t be able to compare the success of your posts to their own content.
If this change is implemented, after all, Instagram will be more about the content rather than the likes. Influencers won’t be able to fake the number of likes and people won’t be hooked by the need of approval. The same applies to brands. It’s not enough to count the number of likes as a metric of success. Engagement will be even more crucial and it could be a positive change for the future of Instagram.
Still, we’re still unsure whether we will actually see this change in our news feeds.
Test: de-emphasizing the number of followers
Along with the private likes, there is another test running. Instagram is trying to de-emphasize the number of followers on our profiles. The idea is to reduce its prominence and make us reconsider the measurement of success.
It’s not confirmed whether we could see this change on everyone’s profiles yet. It could be a game-changing addition combined with the idea of hiding the number of likes.
Instagram is frequently accused of the growing number of users who pay too much attention on their number of likes and followers. These tests could indicate an interest in a changing direction. Quality can be more important than quantity and we should keep an eye on the progress of the tests.
What do we learn from all the announcements?
Instagram is aware of its popularity and it’s trying to grow even more. There is a big challenge to maintain its creative and engaging aspect without losing its users’ interest.
The new features on Stories should help people spend more time on ephemeral content. The option to buy products directly from creators should be a welcome addition to everyone who’s focusing on Instagram’s commercial side.
As for the tests on reducing the importance of likes and followers, these could change the face of Instagram for good. They can bring a new challenge for brands trying to work with creators, but these changes should still be welcome.
Instagram is enjoying a positive reputation, compared to their eldest sibling, so these possible changes seem to be on the right direction.
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