Instagram has been undergoing a bit of a spring clean the last few months, with some changes more noticeable than others. However, with each change complementing the one before, it’s clear that Instagram is heading in a direction that focuses on great content and video.
The algorithm change back in March saw everyone asking their followers to ‘Turn Me On’, from Kendall Jenner to that Ukrainian bodybuilder who once liked that photo of your dog. Fundamentally the algorithm allows users to see the best content in their feed, encouraging creators to produce great content. The result has mostly been people complaining about forgetting about the channels they used to stalk, while draining their batteries with hundreds of notifications.
In the wake of the algorithm change users barely noticed that video length had increased from 15 seconds to a full minute. One user who immediately jumped on this was Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely who showed her fans how to get the perfect smoky eye using her Rosie for Autograph range. This alone shows the opportunities that this development opens up to brands. While encouraging brands to produce better content with the algorithm change, they are also giving them a broader medium to play with. With a number of brands embarking on mini-films, it will be great to see what brands can do with the longer form content on the platform.
An example of an Instagram mini-film from luxury cobbler Christian Louboutin:
Lights, camera, action! Christian Louboutin delivers @elisasednaoui an exclusive Reverso in our latest film with @jaegerlecoultre. For the collaboration, Christian Louboutin infused the classic Reverso with extraordinary colours and details; lending each new version an enchanting flair. #JLCandLouboutin
The latest addition sees carousel ads expand to video. Now that brands will be able to target their audience with mixed media, they will have to judge exactly what will work best for each campaign. Depending on the audience, five 60 second films of makeup applications may not be as effective as five perfectly-composed, shot-from-above still images of lipsticks in grabbing their attention.
These changes offer brands two strong opportunities. The chance to create some great ads with a variety of media giving a greater breadth to explore and showcase your own brand image. Alternatively, if you want to go down the organic route, what you produce has to be of the best quality in order to reach the top of your audience’s newsfeed, giving you the chance to experiment and create something unique to your brand. Whatever your route, don’t see the changes as limiting or something to panic over- use them to explore your brand and creativity.