Written by Content Manager Courtney Lorusso
An In-Depth Look at the Changes to Instagram Throughout 2019
As digital marketers and students of digital trends and emerging technology, we want to be on top of the latest changes to anything that might be relevant to our work or our clients. One social platform has undergone some pretty drastic changes in 2019 and we’re here to help guide you through it. We’re going to look at some of the changes to Instagram in 2019 and make some predictions about the platform for the upcoming year.
Instagram Changes and Predictions for 2020
Removal of Likes
Likes have always been an integral part of Instagram. You used to be able to scroll through your feed or random content and see the amount of likes that a photo had. But that’s not necessarily the case anymore. To put the focus back on the content, Instagram has made some changes. Slowly but surely, IG is removing the ability to see how many people like your photo from the feed. In order to see how your content is performing, you must click into the photo to view the insights.
For influencers, this change could be detrimental to their content and relevance. Since many influencers are sponsored, when users can’t see that there are 5,000+ likes on a photo, they might be less inclined to engage or like it themselves. But for brands, this isn’t the end of the world. When people like your content, the algorithm gives credit to those likes, it just happens behind the scenes. If you’re pumping out engaging content, you aren’t going to have to worry about this change very much. The more people engage with your content, the more priority your content will gain in the feed.
Additional Story Features and Functionality
As time goes on, IG continues to make improvements to one of its most popular additions, the story feature. Back when it first started, there were a limited amount of fonts and filters. Now there are all kinds of things you can add to your story like music and stickers.
- More Filters – There are more filters in the story function than we know what to do with, or at least we feel that most of the time. And the good news is, they’re constantly adding more.
- Reels Mode – In an effort to keep up with its competitors, IG is stepping up its game adding “Reels” mode. Much like Tik-Tok, users can film, upload and edit short videos and upload to their IG stories.
- Search and Save Filters – Decrease the amount of time you must look for those filters you always use with the ability to search and save your filters. That way, you don’t have to go find them each time you want them.
Banning the Use of 3rd Party Apps
As we mentioned before, IG is trying to get back to the content. Many businesses employ the use of 3rd party apps to engage or mass follow or unfollow accounts to grow their following. IG has decided they’re no longer going to allow the use of these apps.
We use 3rd party apps here at Let’s Bee Social on our social media accounts, so it’s been interesting to see the changes over the last year. At first, IG would warn you about your activity and ask you to stop. Eventually they decided that they were going to start banning accounts that aren’t complying with their wishes. And it’s not just a day or two. It’s usually a full, 7-day ban. During that time, you’re only able to post on your story. You can’t like, follow or engage with your feed while you’re under the ban. If you too, use 3rd party apps like Captivate or Cleaner to help manage your clients’ IG account, be careful. IG really started to crack down on this in 2019 and we think that trend will continue into 2020.
3rd Party Apps Are Out
Heading into 2020, this is one Instagram trend that we don’t see changing. With all the focus on genuine interaction and content, 3rd party cleaner apps don’t align with where IG is trying to go. Don’t start of 2020 with a ban. Start liking, following and unfollowing manually. Try to stay between 30-50 interactions per day to keep under the radar.
Stories Will Continue to Drive Engagement
With all the new features and functionality constantly being added to the story, we think that stories are going to continue to drive engagement. Stories give us the ability to be creative and connect with our audience in a more personal way. When you’re connecting with your followers and potential customers, you’re building credibility in their eyes. And credibility is huge when people are looking to buy a product or service.
Engaging Content is the Key
Now more than ever before, creating engaging content is the key to successfully using IG to your advantage. If your content is fun and it connects with your customers, they are going to want to stay engaged with your account. When people are engaged with your account, they’re more likely to explore more about you or even talk about you to their friends. The more genuine you are with your content and your message, the more successful you’ll be on IG.
Start Off 2020 With the Let’s Bee Social Team by Your Side
If you’re looking for some guidance in this ever-changing world of digital marketing, we’re here to help. From branding and SEO to photography and content creation, we can help you grow your online footprint this year. Let us help you make 2020 a year of growth. Contact us to learn more about our services