Instagram’s Goal In 2022 Is To Benefit Original Content

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By Prebuilt Sites Team

May 23, 2022

Everything is constantly changing in the world of social media marketing and sometimes it may seem like Instagram’s updates are out to get us as content creators and marketers. After a couple of years of testing out features that don’t work just to try and be better than the competition, those working at Instagram finally listened to us, and decided that 2022 was the year Instagram would start to benefit original content. Because at the end of the day, content that has been created from scratch deserves more attention than content that has been reshared. It’s not clear what exactly Instagram means by “benefit original content”, but we will learn more as they continue to release new features and updates. For now some things that have worked for my business on Instagram are to create original reels promoting my products or services,  showing up consistently on Instagram stories, and collaborating with other companies and marketers. If you have any questions about your social media marketing strategy or want us to handle it for you, reach out to us at Prebuilt Sites or The BBS Agency. We’d love to help you out! 

The year is 2022 and the world is placed in the middle of a war between platforms. The main reasons for this? Attention, retention, and creation. Over the years, we saw how Instagram dominated the social media market and how it basically became the “official” badge to determine if a person could be considered an Influencer or even a Content Creator. But, so much has changed through these last years, especially the rules of the content game.

As a strategy to keep people on the platform and value Creators, Instagram announced that they will update their ranking algorithm to benefit original content. 

While this might seem to be exciting news, no details have yet been released about what in fact these updates will be, how or when we can expect any change. It’s unclear if, by “original content”, Instagram is referring to rewarding creators for originality, or to encourage the creation of more Instagram-exclusive content. 

But we have some guesses about how this new update may affect marketers and content creation on the social platform. Let’s dig into that. 

A war over short videos

After the COVID-19 pandemic, brands realized that, in order to keep users consuming their content, it was necessary not only to have a practical interface and create good content, but to do that in an original way that catches and maintains the attention of the audience (and they also saw that one of the best ways of doing that was working alongside creators), in order to win over the increasing number of people consuming short videos for quick entertainment. 

With this in mind, we were presented with the two brands that are the protagonists of this platform war: Instagram and TikTok.

TikTok became a huge success not only for the short video format, but also for the dynamic ways it provides to create content with reactions and collabs, and for being well aligned with the music industry.

But even with all that, Instagram still was the place to be recognized as an influencer, so the most practical thing to do was to create content with all the tools from TikTok and repost the content on Instagram. And what did Instagram do to avoid that? Limiting the organic reach of videos with watermarks from other platforms. It didn’t work out very well.

As TikTok was becoming more and more popular as time passed, Instagram decided to take another step to keep users inside the platform. It shut down IGTV. The results from that? Not much, actually.

But throughout the last year, we saw Instagram attempting to become “more TikTok”, even claiming that it was no longer a photo-sharing app

But what do all those actions have in common? None of them are really focused on the content creators nor their experience with the platform. It was basically just doing what the competitor does and using the brand name to stay on top. But we’re not in 2018 and this strategy doesn’t work anymore.

It took almost 2 years for the brand to realize that creators are just like customers and brand promoters. If they don’t feel comfortable or if they don’t feel respected for their work, they will just leave for another platform. Finally understanding this, Instagram updated its algorithm to favor original content.

Originality is key

What can we, as marketers and content creators, expect from that? Well, we can say that it is a small step for Instagram but a huge step for the market. As per Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri: “If you create something from scratch, you should get more credit than if you are resharing something that you found from someone else. [As such] we’re going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content.”

That doesn’t mean content which was edited outside the platform before being published will be penalized, according to Mosseri, “The idea is if you made it, it’s original.” And this is also a good thermometer to see if the majority of videos are edited outside the platform, it means that Instagram’s edit tools must be improved, so we can expect some future announcements related to this new algorithm update.

For now, let’s wait for what will really change on Instagram in the near future. If the social channel is really trying to create an engaged creators community, valuing their work is a good way to start. 

Don’t forget that this update can also harm a lot of accounts that have their strategies based only on User-Generated Content, especially if their followers are also posting the same content on their profiles. But we’ll have to wait for future tests and tools to have an answer.

Originally published by Alessandro Alessio for Rock Content.

Prebuilt Sites Team

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