Has Instagram finally messed up?
Instagram is changing from a chronological to an algorithmic model and people are losing their minds! What’s all the fuss about? Instead of showing posts from those you are following as they are created, Instagram is going to show you the best posts first – the posts that people are liking, commenting on, and talking about.
Make no mistake: this is going to have a profound impact on brands. As the emphasis shifts from creating great content that generates large organic reach to a more traditional advertising model, brands will find themselves paying more to get their content in front of their fans. And this will unavoidably affect users’ relationships with the platform…
The importance of discovery
As a social media user, it seems like we keep being told what content we should want to see. Shunting Instagram into an algorithmic model strips the network of something that has kept it feeling fresh: a sense of discovery. I love following my favourite celebrities on Instagram, because it feels like I’m getting a real insight into their lives (though, with Instagram, most of these are just personas carefully crafted by a celeb’s PR manager). I’d pay to get just a bit more access to this type of real content. And it seems that many other users would as well…
Pay for what you want to see
A new app called TipTalk has recently launched, connecting celebrities directly with their fans – for a fee. Users pay upwards of $100 for a text message, picture, or video made solely for them by their favourite celebs. As this recent TechCrunch article claims, the app creates a “unique, intimate experience” between celebrities and their fans found practically nowhere else.
Well, except on eva of course.
Authenticity is the new cornerstone of social media – the keystone holding up the delicate exchange between brands, fans, and content. As TipTalk proves, it seems that social media users will pay for access to the authentic content that they crave – whether that’s to get a behind-the-scenes look at a fashion designer’s next line, or a bit more information about a reality TV star. So instead of using an algorithm to choose which content users see (and increasing a brand’s dependence on ad reach at the same time) why not let consumers choose for themselves – who knows, they might even be willing to pay for it!