Calm Down - Instagram Is Still Awesome

There are a lot of people mad at Instagram this week. 

Incase you haven't heard (though I kind of really doubt that) Instagram announced that they're making some changes and moving towards a non-chronological feed. 

Instagram's CEO Kevin Systrom announced the change on Tuesday, writing that "to improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.

The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order."

Cue the Internet freakout.

With a change.org petition to keep Instagram chronological and plenty of people having legitimate panic attacks over the change, the Internet is flipping out in a big way. And my Grandma is laughing.

While I completely understand the worry, we all need to take a chill pill. First, this was inevitable. Instagram is a business after all, and they have to make some money too and evolve with the rest of the digital world. Secondly, Facebook owns Instagram, so of course they're going to implement the same "news-feed" type algorithm that everyone hates. However, the fact that so many people despise the Facebook algorithm (where you may not see posts from your bestie until a day later, but see that post from that loud mouth kid you went to high school with immediately) and have always been vocal about it, could potentially help Instagram. The decision makers behind Facebook & Instagram know that IG is one of the most popular apps out there (8th in the US, if you were wondering) so they're going to be fairly conservative (I say fairly here) in rocking our worlds. I fully believe that they're listening to the concerns and are paying attention. While none of us know exactly what the change will entail, I doubt it's going down the full fledged Facebook news feed hole. 

While personally I'm not stoked on this change, professionally I'm not worried anymore. And if you love and use Instagram for business, you shouldn't be either. Change is always going to happen. Always. Especially in the digital world and especially with a platform that you don't own. It's your responsibility as a business owner to stay on top of the trends, recognize them, research them, and then evolve with them. 

While your competitors are crying and complaining in the dust of this change, you should be strapping up your boots and brainstorming ways to make your content that much more exceptional. 

Be honest with yourself, have you become complacent with your marketing on Instagram? Do you throw up "filler pictures" just to post something? Is every post worthy of your target markets time and attention (it's a busy world out there, after all)? Chances are, probably not. Use this algorithm change to refocus as we head into Q2. Cut the clutter. Spend time creating exceptional content that is every bit relevant. It's even more important now. Spend time researching what your customers really, really, really want. Figure out what sets you apart, and make sure every IG post communicates that. And then evolve and implement. Evolve and implement, people.

I'll leave you with a quote that seems quite fitting: "The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art." - Josh Lasseter

Until next time,
VHC