At the start of month, Facebook held its annual developer conference, highlighting a glimpse into the future of Instagram. The recent announcements have got the marketing world abuzz, but what do these changes really mean for the advertisers and social media managers out there?
Influencer/Creators selling products within their accounts
Arguably one of the biggest adjustments coming to Instagram is giving influences/creators the ability to sell products within their own accounts. They’ll be able to tag the product in the post and consumers can simply tap and order all within the platform itself. This means that users will no longer be directed to a web browser.
But what does this mean for marketers? Well, it’s certainly divided opinions. On one hand, this will be a huge advantage for influencer marketing. Brands will have the ability to track their analytics, pinpointing exactly just how many sales come from the platform. It offers complete transparency and will also help the influencers themselves prove their worth for any future projects.
However, from a marketing agency’s point of view, is this drastic change going to help with tracking sales from an agency/client perspective? For brands that don’t rely on influencers, will this urge them to join the ever-growing world of influencer marketing? So far, it’s still in beta testing, but the advertising world should be keeping a close eye on progress, it’s about to change the future of Instagram as we know it.
Hidden like counts
Coming in at the most controversial change to Instagram, they are currently testing hiding the like count on posts – as a way of creating a “less pressurised environment where people feel comfortable expressing themselves.”
But what does this mean for marketers? This possible new feature has sent the marketing world into a bit of a frenzy – will this be a good way for users to focus on what is shared, instead of how popular it is? Or will this harm the brands & influences, who often rely on their engagement level to garner attention?
Personally, we’re all for it. Often, brands rely too much on their “Insta-popularity” to garner content, meaning they can focus less on the actual quality of what they share. This change will give all brands an equal footing, urging them to step up their game and produce engaging, compelling content that their audience will respond to, not like & comment simply because a few thousand others have already.
Instagram will be rolling out a brand new camera design in the coming weeks, which means users will be able to arrange modes around the shutter button. In an even more radical move, users will be able to share more than just an image or a video, giving them the option to share interactive tools instead – such as effects or stickers.
In a heart-warming move by the image-sharing platform, they are going to make it easier for their users to raise money for causes they care about by offering a “donation sticker” that will link to a campaign. Instagram have even announced that 100% of these profits will go to the charity themselves. So far this is only available in the US, but hopefully it will be rolling out to more countries very soon!
So, there you have it, some of the changes known to be coming to Instagram in the near future. Needless to say, some of these are going to completely alter how we see the platform and how we utilise it. The marketers of the world are going to have to step up and get on-board – before they get left behind!