Instagram Follows in Facebook's Footsteps
For quite some time, social media newsfeeds have been structured in a familiar, chronological order, with the most recent posts appearing at the top of a near bottomless feed of updates and images. Though this structured feed has been somewhat disrupted by the emergence of sponsored adsPaid advertisements that appear on the newsfeed of social media platforms, the flow of the feeds have remained sequential, until recently.
Facebook was the first platform to jump at the opportunity to develop a more personalized feed based on the perceived popularity and personal engagement of particular posts. This custom feed took some getting used to, though Facebook users seem pleased with the updates, for the most part. Twitter hopped aboard next, implementing a similar algorithm to surface older posts at the top of a user’s feed that has not been accessed in a while. While there has been some diluted discontent with the algorithmic changes made to these two social platforms, the most uproar has surfaced around the most recent news of Instagram’s adoption of this algorithmic update.
Instagram has been on the rise for several years now, quickly becoming the platform that both brands and consumers engage in the most. While individual users may not even be aware of this proposed change, let alone be affected, this change has potential to significantly damage the marketing strategy and success of smaller businesses. Small and large businesses alike have taken to Instagram to gain a social following and extend their reach by developing clean and pleasing content to share with followers.
Up until now, Instagram has offered a cheap and easy way to get brands discovered, so much so that the concept of Social Media Marketing has emerged and native adsAdvertisements that match the form and function of the platform on which they appear have been popularized. However, with Instagram’s newsfeed favoring posts presumed to be of most interest to the user, these brand accounts may not even reach all of their hard-earned followers.
Of course this update was bound to happen eventually. It was only a matter of time until Instagram followed in the footsteps of its parent company, Facebook, but the implications this change may have on small businesses is cause for concern for those small businesses who rely heavily on Instagram for customer acquisition. How do you think these small businesses will be able to overcome this hurdle and advance their marketing strategy without taking a hit to their marketing budget?