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Content Marketing // July 30th, 2021

Instagram: “No Longer a Photo Sharing App”

Written by Natalie Disher MS, RD

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, made big waves in the digital marketing world recently with his announcement that “Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app.” In a video posted to his Instagram and Twitter accounts, Mosseri noted changes are coming to video on Instagram, in four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging. After seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube, the company is looking to lean into entertainment and video and be known as more than just the square photo app. Basically, If you want to grow online you need to be creating video content.

What’s TikTok Got To Do With It?

 Since bursting onto the scene, TikTok has seen a meteoric rise in popularity and usage. At this point you don’t even need to be on the app to see the content; TikTok viral videos are showing up all over IG Stories, Reels, Twitter, and Facebook.

If you haven’t joined TikTok already, let us tell you again what a great time it is for your brand to get on the platform. The early adopter window is still open (but closing quickly).  You could be the first in your vertical to have a TikTok account and build your following while organic virality is still possible. Maxwell client Dave’s Killer Bread recently became the first bread brand on the platform. Even if TikTok still isn’t right for your product, you will need to start focusing more on video.

Is Instagram Over?

Instagram and Facebook are still the kings of the social media world, but they have taken notice of TikTok’s power, launching their own video-focused platforms to try and compete. When it comes to TikTok copycats, Facebook has already tried and failed with Lasso and Instagram seems determined to make Reels happen –  but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Instagram copy the most successful product from a direct competitor. Back in 2016 Instagram solved their Snapchat problem by introducing the wildly successful Instagram Stories to capitalize on the popularity of ephemeral video content. Just because Reels doesn’t seem to be catching on, don’t expect to see it go the way of Vine (RIP). Instagram is hell-bent on regaining their top spot and once again they’ve determined video is the key.

Should I Switch All My Content To Video?

 You don’t need to fully abandon your static images quite yet. While a social preference for video has long been on the rise, static images will always have a place on social and continue to perform well for all our clients. With the changes at Instagram coming in the distant future, now is a great time to get your footing and begin adding more video content to your social strategies.

Still on the fence about video?

Maybe this will convince you:

Video gets more exposure and engagement across channels

  • Algorithms typically favor video and its ability to hold users’ attention for longer periods of time.
  • Tweets with video attracted 10x more engagements than Tweets without
  • Instagram Reels is still being heavily promoted right now, making Reels a great growth hack
  • Pinterest displays Video Pins at the top of the scroll, in the most valuable real estate of a user’s screen.

Video content is growing in popularity across channels too

  • According to a YouTube survey, 50% of millennial and Gen Z generations said they “couldn’t live” without video in their daily lives.
  • In 2019, users spent a weekly average of 6 hours and 48 minutes online videos, a 59% increase from 2016.

Video has a longer shelf life and can be repurposed across multiple platforms

  • TikTok Videos and Reels can surface on a For You Page or Discover page months after being posted
  • Instagram Reels and TikTok Content can be easily interchanged for added ROI and reach

Video is a powerful sales tool

Now that you’re ready to start making videos for your brand channels, here are some tips to keep in mind when creating video assets:

  • Keep it mobile friendly. Mobile accounts for more than 90% of social screen time, so turn your phone and film that video vertical.
  • Have multiple platforms in mind when creating to easily repurpose content.
  • Keep it simple. Videos don’t need high production value to perform.

TL;DR: TikTok is changing the game and Instagram is doing everything they can to keep up. Incorporating video will allow you to stay ahead of the trends; showcase your products, brand, and experiences in a new valuable way; give users more context to your messaging; and create more sticky posts. Video strategy and production don’t have to be overcomplicated and expensive though, they just need to portray your brand in an authentic, simple way. So, next time you catch yourself setting up the perfect Instagram product still life – stop. Think about how you can make it a video instead!