Understanding the direction a social media platform is taking is imperative to staying on top of the social media influencer game. Today we are going to analyze the future of Instagram in 2019. Where are the current trends taking the platform, consumers and the business model.
Let’s start from the very beginning.
The evolution of Instagram
Jul 16, 2010, the first ever
9 April 2012, Instagram was bought by Facebook for a cool $1 billion. The platform had 30 million users at the time of purchase.
October 2013, Instagram introduced advertising
September 2015, Instagram launches
June 2016, we saw Instagram let go of their time of day chronological feed.
August 2016, Instagram stories are released. This allowed the brand to become more competitive with Snapchats rising popularity.
June 2018, IGTV, or Instagram TV was introduced.
Instagram user statistics
Instagram has 1bn monthly active users.
The top three countries of Instagram users are:
1. The United States with 121 million users
2. India 71 million users
3. Brazil 64 million users
The largest demographic audience is males between 18 – 24 years old. Explains why all those hot chick accounts do so well.
60.4% of all Instagram users are aged between 18 and 24.
So what do all these statistics mean? What trends shall we expect to see?
Trend #1: Increased Visual Communication Methods
We have seen Instagram grow and change in order to stay competitive with rival social media platforms. The introduction of augmented reality, stories, and IGTV are just a few examples of how Instagram is aiming to compete with Snapchat and YouTube.
No wonder this strategy is paying off since 95% of U.S. Instagrammers also use Youtube, 91% use Facebook and 60% use Snapchat.
We have also seen the implementation of saved posts with the ability to save them into user named categories. This is very similar to a Pinterest-inspired “Collection”.
Now, Instagram has
Instagram has always been about visually communicating with one another. Removing the barriers of language. They say a picture tells a thousand words.
Increased Popularity of V
If you have been working on Instagram for a while now, you may have noticed the increased engagement video posts get over photos. In fact, video became so popular IGTV came about so that users could post longer video content.
The platform has increased its capabilities making it possible to film vertically.
To Create Vertical Video for Instagram simply: Choose to shoot in
Curated feeds based on Interests not just Users
My all time favorite feature on Instagram is the fact that you can follow Hashtags. My feed has become so much better since this feature has been introduced? Why? Because I am always seeing the best content on the interest (aerial arts) I love.
It is like someone has made my own personal digital magazine for me to binge on circus videos.
Ever since going on my social media fast last year, I realised that my Facebook was just full of people I used to know. My friends I communicate with via sms and we are always sending each other pics.
An interest based curated feed is exactly what brings me back to Instagram and leaves my dumping the other platforms.
If I want to know how my friends are doing I will ask. I don’t need a Facebook PR announcement.
Secondly people get so offended if you miss a post or don’t give it enough attention. Communication is a two way street guys. If you want to talk to me about something, talk to me. A post is not an effect means of communication.
That is exactly why social media is moving towards being more personal and authentic.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR BRANDS AND INFLUENCERS?
With the increase of visual communication methods, brands have the opportunity to get their message across in various formats.
This will continue to increase the quality of content that is displayed on the app.
Gone are the days of using VISCO or a simple filter. If you want to compete seriously as an Influencer then I would look at using Adobe Lightroom with a designated preset for your brand.
That is how all the professionals are getting perfectly curated feeds and images that look professional even though it’s an iPhone selfie.
Implement professional tools for a cohesive & sharp feed.
ADOBE LIGHTROOM FOR PHOTOS
There is a free app version of Lightroom. I personally use Lightroom Classic. This video guide (below) on how to use Adobe Lightroom and Presets is an absolute game changer.
Before you start make sure you download the Classic version! I know I repeated that message but it took me half a day to work out why my cloud version did not look the same or have the same functionality.
I have the subscription which is $10 a month. It’s worth so much more!
ADOBE LIGHTROOM FOR VIDEO
One of the greatest problems I had with keeping my feed aesthetic consistency was video. Video content was on the rise and I did not want to post it. Why? Because my IG video lighting always looked terrible no matter what type of filter I put on it.
Thankfully there is a way to edit video in Adobe Light room. There is a bit of a trick to it. This video will show you everything you need know to implement the same presets from your photos to your video.
Ensure you are staying Niche and using Hashtags
For users who are looking at following interests, you want to make sure that you are using appropriate hashtags to get you featured on their feeds.
Buy keeping your niche on point it will help your accounts favorability score in that niche and push you up higher in the feeds.
This also helps with reaching the explore page. We have a full article on: How to reach the Instagram explore page and top nine posts here.