Boasting billions-plus users worldwide with 500 million those who visit it daily, Instagram is the world’s 5th most popular social media networking site as of 2021, all that in just a little over a decade since its official launch.
What’s more, not just everyday users but brands and businesses too have found a space of opportunities on the platform, transforming it into something much more significant than just a social media site. But, the large number of users is not the only area of benefits Instagram provides for marketing; the platform is flooded with tools and features that make it an ideal space to market services and products, sitting true for big and budding businesses alike.
However, social media marketing on the platform is yet to achieve global standards for effective and enhanced user engagement. Understanding this swelling need, Instagram is continuously putting efforts into creating the ideal site with both major and subtle changes underway. Let us look at what this future might look like for brands with strategies they must keep ready.
The growing authority of Augmented Reality (AR)
You must have come across those cute and artistic IG filters used in every other Instagram post. Well, this is just the beginning of what augmented reality or virtual reality might look like on the platform.
There is no doubt on the fact that AR is the future of technology and is bound to increase business engagement and user interest in the near future for brands. From publicity through engaging AR-driven ads and promotions to concepts that strike the user ratio, a lot is expected from social media sites, especially Instagram, in their attempt to make the site more versatile and experience brilliant.
Better Target marketing with Better Algorithms
Instagram, time and again, has faced many backlashes and criticism in terms of the platform’s algorithm, which, not to mention, is a deciding factor on how the entire platform functions while also being a critical aspect of user experience.
However, things seem to be shifting for the better for the platform in the future with its attempt to make the algorithm smart, not just for the users’ sake but with a lot of Brand and business possibilities in mind.
To give you a rough idea, below are some algorithm changes one could expect on the platform in the coming year –
- Algorithms smart enough to Restraint low-quality post endorsement among those that are irrelevant to a particular user.
- Improved target marketing to make promotions and efforts worthwhile with only significant and interested audience appeal.
- An algorithm that does not push your post down a rabbit hole if an individual at the time of posting is offline, showing them posts only in chronological order. Instead, promoting algorithms to take users’ engagement and activity on your Instagram pages into consideration when displaying results.
- Automated posts might not be enough in the future for brands looking to grow authority on the platform. Nothing less than a high-quality and appealing post, with proper efforts and use of IG tools, might work with an algorithm this smart.
Goodbye to the ‘Like’ button
Instagram likes have been used and manipulated in a number of unimaginable ways over the years to the benefit of certain users, creating a false image of authority over the real content. What’s more, since many brands and businesses use ‘likes’ to evaluate and hire an individual or an influencer to promote their products, eliminating the button will be a big change both marketing and sales-wise.
Therefore, the brands and other marketers on the platform will be forced to take a more analytical approach to strategize and build marketing plans.
The Instagram ads
Advertisements have become a big part of Instagram as a whole in the past few years. The platform is steadily shifting an equal focus on budding to small and medium-sized businesses and is curating ways to encourage their participation on the platform and Ads to happen to be a part of the plan.
While it is needless to say that with the rising priority to businesses and marketers on the platform, the number of advertisements will increase, what’s even more interesting is to note the ways in which they will take up space on people’s feed.
Formats with random posts that pop up every now and then in-between the feed are slowly losing pace with not much user participation; therefore, the need to blend and present ads in a promotional and entertaining manner is of utmost importance.
Ads in reel formats are the perfect example of using the new and developing features on Instagram to one’s advantage while keeping the Brand up with much-needed trends and social life.
The Facebook integration
The decision of Facebook to take over Instagram in 2012, with its 300 million-plus users at the time, has proven to be one of the best by the service, as Instagram now is slowly taking up the pace to go beyond billion-plus users.
To speak for the fact that both Instagram and Facebook are under the same ownership are the multiple similarities on both the platforms, from their algorithms on feed order to the matching concepts of stories.
What’s even more noteworthy is how well into the future these similarities will go with an intensified focus on increasing the integration in terms of features and tools. An idea of the extent of assimilation is Instagram boasting a feature that allows users to navigate their competitor’s moves and get a detailed insight on a post and how well it did.
The decision of Facebook to remove the tag from a shared Instagram post is also a strong indication of how far and seamless the integration might go, implying a plethora of opportunities, features, tools, audience, and more for brands and businesses.
The thriving shopping options
From the introduction of the shopping tab during the app update in august of 2020 to the product tagging, Instagram is going all-in to provide marketers and small businesses a platform to increase sales directly. There are multiple shopping options to boost versatility, improve user experience, increase user engagement and sales.
The user-friendly and accessible interface that allows users to get a range of products, each sorted into categories and types, added with the likely future introduction of standalone shopping app for the brands, all seem to point in a favorable direction for the marketers on Instagram.
The era of videos
Although Instagram was initially more focused on picture-based posts, the changing ways of interactions and consuming content have, over the years, shifted that focus on video formats. Videos are not simply a quick way to get the point across but are also a good source of entertainment for people, even more so with the decreasing attention span of generation to come.
Although there are still limitations and challenges to the use of video format for brands and businesses on the platform, given the time limit of a video, it is long not before the platform accommodates changes to bring their benefits to the marketers.
Plans on extending the duration of the videos up to an hour are underway, intending to provide brands enough time to present their services and products, which will undoubtedly bring in increased user engagement and sales.
Though it is pretty clear the broad scope of Instagram for both users and marketers, it is still going to be noteworthy, the updates and features Instagram will bring out shortly to upgrade the overall experience. Happy Scrolling!