Instagram’s Biggest Changes

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has been on the up and up. After only 18 months, tech giant, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1Billion. $300 Million in cash and the rest in Facebook stock. At the time of the acquisition, Instagram had 30 million users. Now Instagram has more than 1 Billion people using its app.

Over the past nine years, Instagram has made a lot of changes to the platform, however, it is the last year that has made the biggest difference. So what changes have Instagram made over the last year and how has the audience reacted to this?

The Algorithm

By far the biggest change to Instagram is their new algorithm, which left users confused as to how posts were displayed on their feed.

According to an official announcement from Instagram in June 2018, the aim with the new algorithm is to make your feed “Feel more fresh”. The algorithm prioritises posts based on a few factors:

  • Relationship with the user
  • Interests of the user
  • Timeliness

Based on this, if you want your posts to perform well then your content will need to be both relevant and up-to-date. Timing is essential.

The Explore Page

The Explore page has had an overhaul recently. This section of the app is a great way to discover new content and gather inspiration. For us marketers, it’s a great way to spread awareness.

The Explore page used to be called the “popular page” back in Instagrams earlier days, however not too many people were using it. Now, over 200 million users use the explore page. This is because the page is now catered to an individual’s interests and displays content that you think you will like based on past content that you have interacted with. This functionality works well for us marketers as it allows our content to be displayed in front of our target audience (provided it makes it onto the explore page).

Stickers within stories

Story stickers have taken Instagram by storm and have made it super easy for you to interact with your audience. Let’s take a look at the most popular 3 stickers.

  • Shop Sticker

What is the shop sticker? This sticker allows you to tag products in your stories. If you’re a brand promoting a product via Instagram stories, you can now add the shop sticker which will link to your product. Upon clicking the sticker, your audience will be redirected to your product.

  • Question Sticker

The question sticker is an interactive text box which you can post on your Instagram story and prompt your audience to ask you questions. For brands, this is a great way for you to interact with your fan base and answer any questions that they may have. For everyday use, the question sticker can be great fun with friends.

  • Quiz Sticker

The “Quiz” is the newest addition to the sticker family. This sticker does exactly what the name entails and lets you ask questions to your followers with multiple choice answers underneath. Quiz your followers on everything to do with your business.

IGTV

IGTV has to be up there with Instagram’s new algorithm with being the biggest change to the platform.

No longer are we restricted to a measly 60 seconds of video with a 1:1 aspect ratio. We’re now able to upload up to 60 minutes of vertical video directly to Instagram (or if you want to get fancy, you can prompt your viewers to rotate their phone to watch your horizontal video.) IGTV is like a separate side of the app. You have a channel where all of your IGTV videos are stored and your audience can go back at any time to take a look.

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