Just under a month ago Adam Mosseri, the current head of Instagram, announced that the social media platform is changing... becoming less image based and instead, transforming into a space that’ll be dominated by videos! What does this mean for marketers, creators, and general users of the platform? Well, it is fair to say that since his public announcement on Twitter, there has certainly been a shift away from images. But perhaps this has been apparent since the rise of TikTok particularly in 2020, and the lookalike video content that has been published on Instagram in the form of “reels”. It’s fair to say that a lot of us have been adapting, subconsciously and intuitively to the changes that are visible on Instagram. However, not all of us might have been… So, for the sake of some good old-fashioned nostalgia and an insightful consideration to what the future of Instagram looks like, let’s reflect!


Instagram originally launched in 2010, on October 6th by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. As most of us will be familiar with, the platform was solely an image-based space. You see something which catches your eye, you photograph it using your iPhone 6 or android device, add a vignette edit and Valencia filter, then publish it for the world to see (or if you only have a couple of followers, then them). But now, 11 years later the game has totally changed! Gone are the days of using an inhouse Instagram filter to edit a photo. No, no! Now, there are a range of external apps such as Adobe Lightroom, VSCO or Snapseed, that are designed to bring out an a-star edit on your DSLR taken photograph, before you publish it online. And like I mentioned previously, the platform is no longer just image based… as videos are the new and trendiest way of communicating a message to audiences online.


Reels & IGTVs are taking up a significant amount of space on our feeds. This means that when you publish a video on Instagram in the form of a reel and select your signature soundtrack to feature on an edited montage of video clips (that can either be edited either in house, or on the likes of Premiere pro or Final cut pro x), your reel is on its way to reach thousands of new audiences. The reel section on the app is dedicated to showing solely video content. This is a big leap from the traditional branding of Instagram as an image gallery, that was popular for the first 10 years of the app. Reels launched in August 2020, so they are still a relatively new space on the platform and there is certainly a scope that can be decoded.


How to create a standout video on Instagram?


There’s a code to creating a masterful Instagram reel and I’m going to share with you some insider tricks. Pick a popular soundtrack!! Spend a few minutes, watching reels that appear on your account. You’ll be exposed to the ones that have the most views, and thus you can take a moment to learn from them and see what’s working. Keep it authentic, select a song that is relevant to your brand identity and represents the essence of your product and what you want to communicate. By selecting a popular song, you’ll increase the chances of appearing in the spaces where the most viewed content lives. Now, we’ve got the ‘hacking the algorithm’ covered through sound… Visual content that is appealing to the eye is fundamental!


Invest some time and effort into producing an aesthetically pleasing series of video clips. Keep your creative energy high and think about new ways of staging your product, communicating your message, or representing your life. This can be done through editing techniques which pair flawlessly with the music, or through hiring a photography studio and investing in high quality lighting and camera equipment to bring out the minute details of your content. It’s all about playing around and finding what works best for you. The most successful Instagram influencers today, started off as beginners, experimenting with fun new ways of framing their subjects and through practice they became the influential video experts that they are today.


As Mosseri mentioned, Instagram is “no longer a photo sharing app as people are looking for entertainment”. Therefore, entertainment is paramount when thinking about how to stage your content for audience engagement. “Mobile first video” is the key motto and message to take forward when thinking about the future of Instagram.


Have any plans for content creation this afternoon? I challenge you to pencil in some time to create a new reel using the methods mentioned above: sound, visual impact and most importantly, entertainment! Consider the ways that you can elevate the expression of your concept through a mobile central video – bringing your unique and individual essence to audiences around the world.


Instagram is taking a huge turn and becoming like its major competitors, YouTube and TikTok, so we can certainly expect that one-day images might disappear altogether, and videos will become the main way of communicating your brand’s message.

© Two Thirds Different – 2020