Digital culture has evolved tremendously in the last 5 years. Instagram has changed from a place where you’d find people sharing random photos of their lunch to what it is now: a platform for brands and influencers to reach as many people as possible with not just photos, but videos as well. And Instagram’s got even more changes coming, with exclusive content, algorithm changes, and more. Here’s what we know so far:
Exclusive content for subscribers
#Instagram is working on stories for fan clubs, exclusive stories visible only to fan club members 👀
ℹ️ It is not possible to take screenshots of exclusive stories. pic.twitter.com/GAYvRFVBss
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) June 21, 2021
According to social media researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Instagram is working on something that would allow subscribers to pay for exclusive content from their favorite creators. This also allows users to subscribe to various fan clubs separately. On the creators’ profile, they will see a “subscribe” button in their bio.
An “Exclusive Friends” icon
#Instagram keeps working on exclusive stories 👀
ℹ️ When a user has a fan club, the subscribe button will appear in their profile. pic.twitter.com/n9I9jhKIkM
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) July 2, 2021
Similar to the green Close Friends icon you see whenever you see extra private content for a selected group of friends (or sometimes when you just select your crush to be the only part of that group just to make sure he/she sees it), the Exclusive Friends icon will be in purple. This is one more reason for you to feel extra special.
Users cannot take screenshots
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) July 6, 2021
We know how screenshot has become one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century. So many friendships and relationships have been broken too because of this technology. And if you’re a fan of sending screenshots to your friends, well, you couldn’t do it here (or, at least, it’s gonna be a lot harder to do it). If you wanna let your friends see exclusive content, they better pay to subscribe.
Increased algorithm engagement for video content
This is an accurate take on what we’re doing. To be clear, we’re not abandoning photos or photo creators and artists. We’re looking at new ways to entertain people. Video is a big part of that, but so are photos. https://t.co/W9tJQIE77H
— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) July 7, 2021
Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of Instagram, announced that IG will no longer remain as a “photo-sharing app” as it would start gearing to become a video content sharing platform just like its top competitors TikTok and YouTube. Moserri said Instagram will soon display full-screen, recommended videos in their news feeds.
More web browser/desktop-friendly
Instagram tests desktop uploads💻
Having been known as a ‘mobile-first app’, Instagram is now making it possible to create rather than just strictly consume on its desktop version.
Does this suggest a broader user-friendly rollout for the app? pic.twitter.com/fsuPmdZxF9
— That’s All Media (@ThatsAllMedia) July 9, 2021
Instagram is quickly transforming itself to compete with its most serious competitor today, TikTok. The app is now in the works in testing a feature that lets creators upload posts using a web browser on a desktop computer. According to a Bloomberg report, a lot of people are accessing Instagram through a desktop computer. And now, the app doesn’t want to waste this niche market. Most of these are professionals and influencers who produce highly edited photos using third-party apps via their desktop computers. This feature isn’t available to everyone yet, but according to social media consultant Matt Navarra’s statement with The Verge, users could soon choose aspect rations, apply built-in filters, and use basic editing parameters with the browser.
More recommended videos from people you don’t follow on your feed
Changes are coming to video on Instagram 📺
At Instagram we’re always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience. Right now we’re focused on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging. pic.twitter.com/ezFp4hfDpf
— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) June 30, 2021
Instagram has recently announced that it has developed three new features for creators to monetize their content: the Creator Shops, affiliate commerce, and the branded content marketplace. With this, expect to see more content from people you don’t follow on your news feed. And as the app gears towards becoming a video-sharing platform, expect to see full-screen videos on your feeds too. All these will be available in the coming months, Mosseri says.
Get paid with your Reels through ‘Bonuses’
Some news: by the end of 2022, we’ll invest over $1B in programs that give creators new ways to earn money – including bonuses that pay them for their content.
— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) July 14, 2021
In August 2020, Instagram launched Reels, a short-form video platform that was pegged to be its direct response to the growing influence of TikTok. Just recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that it will be introducing the “Bonuses” feature that would reward creators based on the amount of engagement their Reels would receive. In line with making Facebook and Instagram the “best platform for creators,” Zuckerberg pledged $1 billion on this project until 2022.
‘Best platform for creators’
“Products where users pay creators directly we are waiving all fees through the end of next year,” says @Mosseri. “We are going to take less than 30% that companies like $AAPL take for digital transactions because we quite frankly think that is too high and not sustainable.” pic.twitter.com/wvroca0I6X
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) June 9, 2021
Instagram and Facebook are both gearing up to become the best platform not only for users but also for creators. By tapping into this niche market, Instagram is rebranding itself with more creative tools and safety features that would help creators earn a living from their passion. Mosseri underscored the importance of providing features that are specifically designed for creators. As he says, “what you might use and what would be relevant for you as a creator might be very different than an athlete or a writer.”
Are you excited about the rebranding of Instagram? Which of these new features are you most stoked about?