Instagram is rapidly developing new features and functionalities to tackle major business issues and help users support their favorite brands. Keep reading to learn how to adapt to these latest changes and make sure you use the algorithm in your favor, so you get your content seen.
Instagram is Still Growing
Instagram, owned by Meta, is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. With over two billion users, it is still one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. According to Sproutsocial.com, it was the fastest-growing app in 2021.
Instagram has played a significant role in 21st-century popular culture, with popular users dubbed influencers and content creators. They have become a key demographic for Instagram, and the app has opened its platform with shopping and other marketing tools to make these popular users more successful.
Based on the advertising audience reach numbers published in Instagram’s self-service tools in April 2022, the >latest data show some interesting data:
- The United States has at least 155.7 million active Instagram users
- According to SEMrush, based on total website traffic, Instagram is one of the world’s top 10 most-visited websites globally, with 2.9 billion total visits per month.
- Instagram is the 4th most-used social platform
- 59% of U.S. adults use Instagram daily
- 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily
Keeping up with Instagram changes can be challenging. They release minor changes weekly, sometimes daily. However, major changes to the Instagram interface and platform are headed out in May 2022. We will try to explain these changes so you can make sure your content is seen and promoted.
Instagram Changes for May 2022
1. The Instagram Feed:
The biggest Instagram change of the year is its feed. Currently, it serves as a photo-sharing app, where pictures are the center of the content. However, the latest update coming soon will change how your feed looks and users view posts. Now, this change is in test form. A small number of users have the changes and Instagram expects to roll out these changes to the entire platform sometime in the next few months.
Each post is taller and matches the background color within the image as it currently does for stories. Like TikTok, main feed posts take up the entirety of the screen, and users will need to swipe up to move to the next post. As seen as the picture below:
In the new version, Instagram suggests video content before other content. While static image posts from those you follow and favorites lists will still be available underneath the dedicated drop-down tabs, you will see fewer of them in your default home feed. The change was prompted by the popularity of Reels, which Instagram says makeup over 20% of users’ time on Instagram.
In the test of the full-screen home feed, you can still access the Discovery Tab to switch to shopping or other pages. The icons to switch accounts, create a post, check the notifications, and browse messages remain the top navigation.
What You Need to Know:
Adding Instagram Reels into your strategy is essential for reach and engagement. Did you know that the average engagement rate for images is decreasing by the minute? In the past year, it decreased by 38% — from 3.57% to 2.23%.
Make sure to focus on more video content. Instagram is looking to grow like Tik Tok, and video content (Reels) is the way to go. If you want to post pictures make sure to not put many texts on the caption, as it will block the image further.
In the test of the full-screen home feed, you can still use the bottom navigation bar to access the discovery tab, Reels, shopping, and your own page. The icons to switch accounts, create a post, check your notifications, and browse your messages are still on the top bar, too.
2. Showcase your NFTs on Instagram
Non-fungible tokens – or simply NFTs, are digital assets that allow you to prove ownership of a store of value. This could be a non-tangible item like a virtual drawing or something physical such as real estate or fine art.
From now on, select creators and collectors can share their digital collectibles directly on Instagram. A feature that was only available on Twitter and on platforms directly connected with NFTs marketplaces. Now, Instagram will let creators showcase their NFTs directly on the feed.
NFT posts will have a tag in the lower right corner that reads “Digital collectible,” letting users know it is an NFT. They will also shimmer, further separating them from regular posts. When someone taps the post, story, or message, they will see links to the owner’s and creator’s Instagram profiles, the piece’s name, and a description from the artist.
“This week, we’re beginning to test digital collectibles with a handful of U.S. creators and collectors who will be able to share NFTs on Instagram. There will be no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on IG.”
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram.
Instagram is already beginning to test digital collectibles with a handful of U.S. creators and collectors who will be able to share NFTs on Instagram that they have created or bought. This feature includes:
- Connecting to a digital wallet. Once connected, creators and collectors will have the ability to choose which NFTs from their wallets they would like to share on Instagram.
- Sharing digital collectibles. Once a creator or collector posts a digital collectible, it will have a shimmer effect and can display public information, such as a description of the NFT. Posts will also be visible on their profile.
- Automatic tagging of both the creator and collector. The creator and collector can be automatically attributed in the digital collectible post (subject to their privacy settings).
What You Need to Know:
Now collectors can trace the art back to the artist and be part of the community they have been building on Instagram for so long. For now, there is no confirmed date for the update. But it’s coming. Recurrently check on Instagram official posts to see when the update is out and be the first one to showcase your NFTs.
Elaborate on a strategy that includes showcasing the NFTs you have or the ones you have on sale. This way, you can reach more users on the biggest growing app in the world.
Mosseri emphasizes that support for NFTs on Instagram could help introduce the technology to a broader range of people. Instagram is not the first platform to do so: in January, Twitter introduced NFTs on the platform as hexagon-shaped profile pictures. An icon in the corner of Instagram posts of NFTs also appears as a hexagon.
3. Instagram ranking algorithm
Instagram’s ranking algorithm will now assign more value to the original content. Instagram changed its ranking algorithms which will boost the visibility of original content on its feed. That means content someone creates and publishes themselves is likely to be more visible on Instagram than republished content.
Instagram is changing its algorithm to improve its ranking system and better highlight original content from creators. The aim is to reduce the dominance of aggregator sites and give more credit to original creators. That, ideally, will see fewer content farms or re-posters dominating the Explore feed.
“Creators are the future of Instagram and the social media company wants to make sure they find success.”
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram.
What You Need to Know:
The new features added to Instagram’s tools for boosting ranking are:
- Product Tags: Tag products like you tag users. These tags enable businesses to highlight products from a catalog and help customers learn more about what they’re selling in Instagram Stories, feed posts, Live, and Instagram Video (formerly known as IGTV). When people tap the product tag on a post or story, they’ll be redirected to a product detail page. Creators can add more than one shopping bag to a post or story.
- Enhanced Tags: Individual users can add categories to their profiles that show up when they’re tagged in a photo or video. If someone publishes a video of you speaking at a conference and tags you, this new category feature will allow people to see who you are and what you do. This will help the credit reach the respective creator.
- Ranking for Originality: This one is specifically focused on this idea of originality. If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are resharing something you found from someone else.
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