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Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app; new updates affect its algorithm

TOC Public Relations

by | Jul 26, 2021

2021 Instagram update

Here. We. Go. Again. If you are not aware, Instagram just made a huge update to its platform, affecting the algorithm for ALL of its users as the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri states that it’s no longer a photo-sharing app. 

Well, if it’s no longer a photo-sharing app…what is it then?

Between April 2019 and April 2020, Instagram experienced a 30 percent decline in overall usage, largely due to the growing popularity of its current rival TikTok.

TikTok continued to thrive amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic when everyone was stuck at home and quite literally aided in millions of social media users leaving Instagram for dead in exchange for its intuitive short-form, video-sharing app.

On June 30, 2021, Mosseri shared a detailed video across all of his social media profiles announcing this massive change to create an immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video platform. 

“We’re no longer a photo-sharing app. The reason people say they use Instagram is to be entertained and they’re looking to us for that. There’s some really serious competition right now…TikTok is huge and YouTube is even bigger. In the next couple of months, you’ll start to see us experiment in the space of what we call “recommendations”, showing you things in your feed that you may not be following. We’re also going to experiment with embracing video more broadly…full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video.”

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri

The biggest bombshell regarding this update is that moving forward, Instagram will be prioritizing video content over photos, heavily shifting the platform’s algorithm. 

The forthcoming changes are slated to occur between now and summer 2022.

How does this affect your digital marketing?

With Instagram “becoming” TikTok, the app seeks to provide users the opportunity to gain a wider organic reach. Instagram has reformulated its algorithm to help people/public figures/businesses become more discoverable on the platform, so this update is not all bad. 

But, what this means for businesses, organizations and agencies is that we’re going to have to start getting more creative now and in the future by implementing more video into our digital media marketing. Sure, you can still post photos on Instagram, but the overall reach and impressions will be significantly less than prioritized video content in the feed. 

“The message that Instagram is sending is clear: it no longer wants to be thought of as the “square photo-sharing app,” as Mosseri puts it, but instead as a general entertainment app driven by algorithms and videos. At the moment, though, it’s vague as to how Instagram plans on doing that and whether it’ll be improving and innovating on features popularized by apps like TikTok or just making something with a few Facebook tweaks.”

The Verge

What we do know at this point is that change is coming. 

Instagram will not only be strengthening its video usability, but it’ll also be elevating its tools and capabilities for creators, increasing its e-commerce visibility, and enhancing messaging to connect friends from across the globe. 
Click here to learn more!