This week Instagram finally added a feature I've been hoping for ages would come into effect.
Who else spends a heap of time on Instagram?
It is easily my favourite platform still because you can have meaningful 1-on-1 interactions with potential or current customers and you can actually hunt for leads without spending heaps of money like you would for Facebook, more on that later.
To be perfectly honest, I'm a little bit excited about the changes. For those of you that have been living under a digital rock, Instagram has announced that it will be changing the feed from 100% chronological to something more suggestive like "stuff you missed but probably want to see" and will probably look a lot like Twitter in terms of showing the latest few tweets, then "while you were away" - a collection of the most likely tweets that you'd enjoy - then more chronological.
Why are they doing this?
Well, Instagram has started to mature and the way people are using the platform has changed dramatically in the past few years, we most probably follow a couple of hundred more people than we used to and interact with profiles in a vastly different manner. So it makes sense to make sure the best posts all get seen.
Also, the fact that Instagram is a modern advertising platform - think Newspapers (remember those print things that we used to read) - so it makes money from advertising. Thus, it needs to make sure that there is good reason for people to invest in advertising on their platform. I saw one page (a small business) having a whinge across platforms on Twitter about the changes saying something like "Don't they realise their customers don't want this?" and it stuck with me, really it is the catalyst for this post since my response was basically "you aren't their customer! You are just a consumer, unless you are advertising". I feel a sense of irony in a small business complaining about another business changing to suit their customers (advertisers) when they'd been catching a free ride for years selling their own wares.
Why shouldn't you tell people to click 'Turn on Notifications'?
This feature has been around for ages, potentially since the beginning. I know I noticed it about twelve months ago and clicked on it for a page and the first time that page posted an image and I got a notification, well, I clicked again to turn it off. To be honest, every time I looked at that profile afterwards I was slightly annoyed and the first bad post, I clicked unfollow. Sure, I might be a little more vicious when it comes to my flood line for this kind of thing, but I am more than confident that for all the people that turned on notifications for business profiles, a huge percentage of those are going to turn them back off and/or simply unfollow to get rid of the notifications. Of those that stay, as soon as that business starts posting rubbish "sell" type posts they are gone too. Worse, many of them will simply stop using the app all together and that is bad for everyone.
- Changes to the feed are good
- Great content will rise to the top
- Don't tell people to 'Turn on Notifications
- Stop thinking Social Media platforms are here for users - they are advertising platforms!