Over the past few months, we’ve seen changes on Instagram that affect brands, consumers and influencers alike.
We wanted to touch upon three important changes and how they’ll affect your brand.
- Instagram removing the ‘following tab’
- Instagram helping you manage and group the people you follow
- Better control of third-party data
Removing the following tab
The following tab was an activity feed first introduced in 2011. It displayed who your friends were following and what posts they engaged with. Instagram removed the feed for some users back in August, however, since October, no one has had access to the feed.
For now, users only have access to view their own activity on the platform. Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram, stated the feed was removed for the sake of simplicity - given that a large number of users didn’t know the feature existed.
While we will no longer be able to see who’s ignoring your text messages but liking posts on Instagram, a bigger problem surfaces for brands. Many Instagram users used the following tab to find cool new brands/accounts their friends interacted with.
Without this function in place, brands might be forced to invest in paid ads to help their content reach a wider audience. We expect this will lead to an increase in brands who decide to work with influencers in their niche to widen their reach and repurpose the content in boosted paid social posts.
Manage and group the people you follow
Instagram is currently testing ‘grouping followers’. By grouping followers, you’ll be able to get a clear idea of the people you’ve interacted with least in the past 90 days. The aim is to help you manage your followers in a convenient way that works for you.
However, this function is currently in the testing phase and therefore there’s no guarantee it will be rolled out for all users.
Instagram will group accounts according to the type of content they post, whether it be travel, fashion, make-up etc. This will make it easier for users to track the accounts they follow. For brands to stand out within their group, they must ensure they’re posting consistently high-quality content.
In the new wave of Cambridge Analytica, social networks users demand better use and control of their data. Instagram have launched new in-app features to “help you better control the data you share with third-parties through Instagram”.
With the new update, users will be able to manage the username and photo data they share with third-party apps. By going to: Settings > Security > Apps and websites, you’ll be able to remove any third-party services you no longer need connected to your Instagram account.
Instagram has already started to roll out this feature and should be available for all users in six months.
These Instagram platform changes all allude to the social network trying to make the platform better and easier for their users.
Brands should make sure they keep their followers’ needs a top priority to ensure increased engagement.