Last week it felt like all the changes and tests that Instagram have been going through over the past 2 years came to a head. Petitions were shared and even the Kardashians waded in.
Since the rise of Reels there has been a growing community of people who want Instagram to go back to a “photo sharing app”. From a small business perspective Instagram has definitely changed over recent years – with algorithm updates, focus on ad spend and shift toward video being the biggest factors – which has meant that some businesses are struggling more to gain engagement and drive sales. (Only some though, others have thrived.)
The recent feed change tests (full screen, 4:5 ratio etc) have been a particular point of contention and has felt like a TikTok copy. While this has only been a test it’s clear some people truly disliked it.
After a lot of noise last week Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, then released some statements about pulling back on certain things, so let’s break it down on what is actually going on…
There have been a few tests ongoing for the last few months – one around a 16:9 full screen feed, another with a 4:5 grid layout and 4:5 ratio feed.
Mosseri confirmed last week that Instagram are pulling back on these, stopping the tests and won’t be making any changes at this time.
This is a common complaint from many people that they see too many recommendations in their feed and they want to see content from the people that they follow. Instagram have been clear they will continue to push recommendations but temporarily will be reducing the number of recommendations “as it works to improve its personalization tools” (source: Platformer).
Personally I’m not against recommendations – I have found many new businesses & accounts to follow (and even buy from) through recommendations & ads. Remember if you do see something you don’t like to click ‘not interested’ this will help the algorithm know what you do (& don’t) want to engage with.
Ok not a specific update on this but it comes up frequently and I did see lots of mentions about wanting it back last week.
Earlier this year Instagram introduced 2 new feeds: Favourites & Following.
If you only want to see content from those you follow in chronological order then ‘Following’ is for you.
Again personally I’m not interested in this. I like seeing the curated home feed where the algorithm is serving me what it thinks I will engage with most. It doesn’t always get it right but then who does!
A Photo Sharing App
Instagram are committed to video, and video is nothing new on Instagram. It started long before Reels, in fact I would argue they were at the beginning of short form “snackable” video with Stories.
I’ve always enjoyed Stories, particularly talking Stories where you get a little insight into someone’s day, where they are and what they’re doing. Sharing updates on their business, sneak peeks, the highs & lows. So, no surprise, I also enjoy watching Reels and getting lost in a few rabbit holes.
It remains to be seen what further actions Instagram will take following all the backlash last week but one thing is for sure video will be sticking around.
I hope this helps clarify some of the recent things that have been discussed and shared. If you want to read more about Mosseri’s recent announcements then have a read of this article on Platformer and/or check out the Creators feed. What else are you confused about? DM me on Instagram and I’ll get things uncomplicated.
I want you to enjoy using Instagram to build your community and grow your business; to find out more about how I can help you do this check out my Instagram services.
Or if you’re not sure where to start or have some questions, then let’s grab a virtual cuppa and we can chat it through.