Instagram is looking forward to 2017 by adding a host of bells and whistles to its increasingly strong dominance of social media channels.
While Twitter’s social stock has shrunk, and Facebook’s constant fiddling with algorithms has infuriated social fans, its sister company continues to be the choice of influencers.
Instagram came out as the channel of choice by far, followed by personal blog and Twitter, then with Facebook and rising star Snapchat further behind.
It’s not all an Instagram love-in, however. The channel changed its rules six months ago which wiped out chronological feeds in favour of content most ‘meaningful’ to the user.
(This could be the biggest social story of 2016, ultimately: the loss of random voices and opinions, in only allowing users to see stuff they already know, like and agree with = polarized people)
However, Instagram has responded with a series of channel tweaks to consolidate its position, allay anger – and keep rival Snapchat at arm’s length.
Most importantly, it is testing (on verified accounts) the allowance of clickable links other than in the bio, which is currently the only URL on the platform.
Being a control-freak, Instagram needs you to click ‘ show more’ then will only open the link in a browser of its own, so that the user doesn’t leave the platform.
“The addition of links is sure to satisfy brands who want to promote products, and creators who need to promote their other social channels,” says a Techcrunch report. True – but will they ever open up the facility to all accounts?
In another tweak, you can now tag other IG users in a Story – the facility introduced by Instagram three months ago to take on Snapchat.
I’m a late triallist of Stories but can see why it’s been taken up reasonably well – particularly by influencers on their travels, at events or, well, in a storybook form.
You can stitch together photos, Instagram’s Boomerang video app (one-second played forward and backwards – can be fun if thought through) and standard video. It’s a sop, effectively, to influencers who lost the chronological feed and with it the chance to run a rolling campaign (unless via a hashtag).
There’s some good stuff there and has helped consolidate the dominance of Instagram with influencers this year – perhaps less so with brands, who remain fixated by Facebook video and ads.
What do you think – who is your 2017 social media channel winner?