When Instagram head Adam Mosseri posted that the company was ‘testing feed changes’ in May, we know a lot of creators, marketers, advertisers and clients thought ‘what does this mean for me’?
Of course, since then, the Kardashians have weighed in, and the changes have been put on ice. For now.
But knowing how quickly things change here in social media land, we wanted to give you a few insights on how you can future proof your Instagram Feed in 2022 and keep your content fresh and engaging no matter what direction Instagram takes next!
1. Find Out What Is Expected To Change
Keep your eye out for updates. Some of the changes we expected to see (and that may come back on the cards) include:
- Feed posts optimised for an aspect ratio of 9:16, like Reels and Stories are now
- More emphasis on video content [this is a sure thing!]
- Less space for copy [or copy hidden below the fold]
- Carousels could be harder to navigate
- Changes to the position of Stories and the placement of other buttons
Now, those are changes being discussed. Will we see all of them?
But we’d bet you that the emphasis on video content will definitely be part of Instagram’s future. It’s worth checking out your favourite social media publications or [ahem] your favourite agency’s social presences for any news on the updates while we wait for roll-out.
2. Think About Why Instagram Is Changing
Imagine Instagram is not an all-powerful content sharing app that has changed the way we exercise, eat and enjoy sunsets but a role you’ve been assigned in the school play and ask yourself, ‘What’s this character’s motivation?’Why is
Instagram making all these big changes? If ‘TikTok’ was your answer, you get a gold star! With TikTok in the ascendancy and drawing a lot more eyeballs (Aussies are spending 8.3 hours a month on IG vs 23.4 hours TikTok), Instagram has followed Picasso’s advice: good artists borrow, great artists steal.
Knowing what Instagram is trying to replicate will ultimately help you understand what the platform is trying to achieve and help guide your creative.
3. Get more familiar with Reels
Of course Instagram has already attempted a little TikTok duplication with the introduction of Reels in 2020. If the changes are introduced in the way we think they will be, Reels will become more important to the point where it will replace all other formats in the feed. This means it’s super important to get used to them and get accustomed to the quirks of the format.
Consider how to use sound in your videos [a must-have for Reels], also think about the style of video people are drawn to and what the latest trends are. Even better than looking at Reels, head over to TikTok and see what sort of content is being produced there. TikTok content and trends to be a few weeks in front of Reels so you can get a jump on your competition by going straight to the source. Once you’ve had a chance to get across the content: jump in and have a go! The earlier you can get a handle on the way Reels work and what works, the better.
4. Can it be a video?
Social media aficionados have been talking about the importance of video for at least 10 years and the expected feed changes will keep that conversation going for another 10 years!
While you’re checking out Reels and TikTok, it’s worth considering how you can create more Reels content in line with what is currently popular but also how you can adapt your current content to fit a Reels format. Could those three or four images you were going to use as a Carousel be turned into a GIF? Could that single image have some animation added using Canva to give it a little more movement? These are all easy wins that will help you adjust to the new format more quickly.
5. Condensing captions
This will be a tough one for a lot of Instagram users: it looks like our beloved captions might be significantly cut back to only a single line or two.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it, this will take some getting used to for a lot of us [including your old friends at TDP]. If we do end up losing captions in their current state, how do you adjust? You’ll still have a little bit of room to work with so use that for the most vital part of your message, the same as you would a headline in a paid ad. What about all that other great copy? Consider inserting it into your content as a slide or using it as a voiceover for the video. If you don’t want to speak yourself, there are voice effects available on Reels you can use!
6. Don’t Panic
Hey, we get it: there’s a lot to think about and some potentially big changes coming down the pipeline. It can be daunting, especially if you’ve built up a really great content strategy but just remember this isn’t the first time Instagram has introduced changes. Since Instagram became a thing in 2011 we’ve seen Stories, IGTV, Reels and redesigns all changed the way we use Instagram and not only did we deal with those, we utilised the new tools to make even better content.
These changes will potentially be big but try to embrace them or at least approach them with an open mind. There could be new possibilities for your content that you hadn’t even considered. Well, that’s a start. We’d love to hear from you and find out what you think about this new world of Instagram. Get in touch via our socials if you have any questions or ideas on how you’ll adapt to the changes.
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