In the age of videos, what is the role of the Instagram feed?

Bárbara Sacchitiello
June 13, 2022 – 6:00 am

Anyone who has used Instagram since the early days of the social network has certainly gotten used to understanding it as a space for publishing photos. As the year goes by, and the arrival of other content platforms, static images, although they have never stopped making up timelines, have been giving more and more space to videos.

(Credit: Shutterstock/Jirapong-Manustrong)

When he announced the priorities for the platform earlier this year, Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, made it clear that the social network would move away from the image of a photography environment to be a platform more focused on videos.

This movement does not happen by accident. In recent years, TikTok has reshaped the way a generation uses social media. The great interest in publishing short videos, usually associated with music, and with great potential for sharing, made other platforms also rethink their operating model to offer what people were looking for. It was from there that Instagram created Reelsa tool similar to TikTok, to try to attract the audience that was migrating to the other network.

With the clear priority for videos, many users wonder about the function of the feed, each person’s home page on Instagram. Many creators say that videos end up getting more engagement than static images, which would suggest that for anyone who uses the social network to create a connection with a group of people, video would be the best option.

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While the social network’s slant is clearly towards videos, Instagram has not ceased to be a photo network. “The static format has not completely died. There is still space for this content. However, brands and content creators need to pay more attention to the feedback from their community and include a mix of formats in their strategy to avoid being swallowed by the algorithm”, explains Barbara Bueno, content creative director at Sapient AG2.

She highlights that marketers are used to the constant evolution of social media platforms and other digital marketing sites. So, she says, staying informed about changes and implementing them into strategies ends up being part of the job. “Brands and content creators need to reinvent themselves. Since the platform algorithm is giving preference and reach to video content.”

In addition to the photos

Instagram won’t stop being a photo app, but it will set out to go much further than that, according to Clarissa Millford, co-founder of the Academy of Tiktokers and a specialist in short videos at the New York Film Academy.

“In practice, what is perceived is a greater emphasis on delivery, engagement, visibility, on content that is in video format (Reels), which is natural considering that this is the format that people have the most consumed on the internet, especially on the mobile device, and also by the emergence of the strong competitor TikTok appropriating a significant share of the market”, comments Clarissa.

Highlight of three contents

Last week, Instagram announced yet another change to timelines. Users, from now on, will be able to pin up to three different content to their profile (both photos and videos). The update will be available for both people and company profiles.

This initiative, in the view of Barbara, from Sapient AG2, is also a response to the success of TikTok and basically works to help ‘present’ that company or person in a more objective way, since those three highlighted contents can help define a little the essence of that profile.

The professional gives a tip so that companies can take advantage of the resource. “One possible strategy is to ‘pin’ your most successful content, content that reflects well what you want to convey as a message and recent, trending content, always updating when necessary”, she advises.

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