The power of Instagram

In the Avant PR office, Instagram is up there as one of our favourite social media apps (did you catch Lauren’s post on her favourite filters?), and why wouldn’t it be? Since Facebook decided to go all advertorial on us, the ease and speed of flicking through Instagram to keep up to date with friends’ and celebrities’ lives is what makes it appealing.

As we work increasingly with Instagram at Avant, we’re really interested in how the app has become such a power tool for brands, celebrities and influencers, and what recent proposed changes to your timeline will mean.

Instagram launched back in 2010 and at that time there weren’t any other apps quite like it, which is why its popularity has risen over the years. The app is a great way for brands to reach target consumers quickly, especially now that celebrity endorsement has become so vital. The hashtags celebs use, alongside brand engagement from fans, can instantly turn followers into customers – in a world where time is money, a quick look at an Instagram post, over reading a lengthy Facebook endorsement, says it all.

But what do the new proposed changes mean for brands, celebrities and their followers? The app plans to switch to algorithmic timelines – sorting posts according to users’ interests – rather continuing to list them chronologically, bringing the app in line with Facebook, which is owned by the same company.

Celebrity posters, bloggers and brands, who are worried their photos may no longer be seen by as many people, have urged their followers to “turn on notifications” (by turning on notifications, followers will receive an alert every time the Instagrammer posts), but Instagram has assured them there’s no reason to panic: “We’re listening and we assure you nothing is changing with your feed right now,” the photo-sharing app said in a tweet. But it’s only a matter of time.

After users expressed their feelings on social media regarding the new changes, a petition to keep the app chronological was set up, already amassing over 317,000 signatures – but with the changes still in the experimentation stages, Instagram has assured they aren’t likely to hit for weeks to come.

Besides, algorithms aren’t necessarily a bad thing: thanks to its growing popularity, Instagram is getting more crowded and around 70% of images on a user’s feed are never seen, according to the company – these changes could mean you just see more of what you’re interested in.

In the world of fashion and beauty, Instagram is the perfect tool – it’s the perfect way to review products without having to produce lengthy blog posts and key influencers’ popularity on the platform means brands can reach target customers more easily.

Regardless of the changes, Instagram is still a fantastic way of connecting with your audience fast and it will continue to have a huge impact as the changes do roll out.

– Amanda Spence, Account Executive 

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