You may have heard the news that Instagram is changing. But please don’t post anything asking your or your brand’s followers to turn on notifications – let us tell you why.
Yes, Instagram will eventually change from the chronological order we’re familiar with to an undefined algorithm-based feed. However, this algorithm is not being tested on everyone, rather a beta group. Instagram has clearly stated they’ll “take time to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way.”
Once the algorithm does go live for all Instagram users, there is no need to turn on post notifications. Remember when Facebook brand pages asked users to turn on notifications when the algorithm for liked Fan pages changed? How many of you still have notifications turned on for these pages? I’m guessing no one. The same will be true for Instagram. No one really wants their phone buzzing every time a blogger publishes a post. The Instagram algorithm will be designed to improve the user experience, not ruin it. Photos will not be hidden from your timeline. Instagram has ensured us that every stream you follow will still be there, “just in a different order.”
Another UX change: Instagram upped video length from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. Although it’s an individual’s choice to follow a brand, we like to stick to “shorter and concise is best” when it comes to videos on Instagram. The way we see it, you only have a small window of time to grab the viewer’s attention with compelling content before they scroll on.
So what do these changes mean for brands? If you’re not on Instagram, take a cue from the Pope and join now. Now is the time to create great visual content and find out what’s really resonating with your followers. Look at your own analytics from the past few weeks comparing days, times, likes, comments, video views and type of content. While Instagram does not provide these analytics for you, sites like Iconosquare can help. Look at these statistics and ask yourself if you see any trends in what your followers engage with, and adjust your content accordingly.
Brands that invest the time, effort and money into social media platforms like Instagram will benefit from an algorithm-based feed. Take this as a challenge to provide the most useful and captivating content you can and more importantly, take the time to do it right.