A lot has changed this year in the world of Instagram. Not only has the platform physically had a makeover; likes have been removed, creator accounts have been, well, created, and influencers are now earning on average between $41 to $3,138 for sponsored posts. And, with all this change it can be hard to keep up, especially when you’re trying to create the perfect Instagram strategy to grow your account. As the year draws to a close, we’ve rounded up our top Instagram predictions for the platform for next year, to get you thinking about what Instagram might look like in 2020.
Instagram will have an even bigger crackdown on fake followers and bots
They’ve already started to make moves to cut down on fake engagement and followers on the platform, so it’s likely that this activity will continue in to the new year. Named as a $1.3 billion problem fake followers affect the health of accounts on Instagram, but also the business relationships that are built between influencers and brands. Brands are now a lot more wary when choosing who to partner with, as they won’t get a great return on investment if the followers they are targeting through influencer marketing tactics are all fake.
“Instagram said that with the help of machine learning, it had identified users who had shared their login credentials with services that generates fake engagement and followers.” The platform plans on whittling out these “black hat” services one by one to ensure total authenticity on their platform. It’s likely they will implement some sort of sentiment analysis in order to start to also combat fake comments now that likes will be hidden. More about buying fake followers, here.
So, it’s important if you want to grow your account, that you focus on the most organic ways to do so. Establish your niche, create quality content, interact, and use the right hashtags to reach the right people. Here’s how to make sure you are doing all of the right things.
Micro-influencers will continue to grow in popularity for brands
We’ve already seen this trend emerge towards the end of the year. Brands are favouring micro-influencers when it comes to Instagram partnerships. This is because they tend to have a more specific niche when it comes to their audience and their audience’s interests, so brands are able to target customers much more specifically. Micro-influencers are also more likely to work for less, due to the fact that many digital creators base their rates on the amount of followers and reach they have.
Influencers with 10k or less followers are considered to be “micro”, and according to the data, have been performing well when it comes to engagement and ROI. They also tend to be less likely to have fake followers, as they have a smaller pool of followers to begin with. Brands say they favour this group because they are perceived as ‘closer’ to the consumer. With a smaller following, their feeds tend to be relatable and authentic, as their lifestyle is perhaps closer to the average consumer’s.
Instagram will take note from TikTok and YouTube
Another Instagram prediction we have for 2020 is even more video content, as well as an increase accessibility on Instagram for users to create unique and viral videos. Instagram has already witnessed TikTok’s exponential success, and they have started to take note. There are likely to be more interactive video formats on both stories and IGTV, and Instagram may also push IGTV in particular towards somewhat of a pseudo-Youtube/Snapchat direction.
We expect to see short-form videos from different media outlets, educational and fictional series’, and Snapchat-esque interactive features when it comes to video content. Interaction is key in today’s digital climate, and users like to be a part of the experience when it comes to the content they consume. Instagram will allow for more viral moments on the platform, but also for more scroll-stopping, longer form features.
Instagram will open up
Instagram has already started to consider the ramifications the platform has on users’ mental health – as they cited this when talking about the decision to remove likes. There is a longstanding discussion about the effects of social media platforms on mental health and personal perception, and it’s likely that Instagram will continue to address this, raise awareness to the situation, and make changes to combat it in the best way possible. We expect to see a greater level of authenticity on the platform on the whole, as users start to become more open about social and online pressures they face when it comes to their Instagram accounts.
Instagram will become even more shopper-friendly
This is something we’ve already seen take shape. This year, Instagram made more steps to incorporate VR shopping experiences and clickable items, to give brands more of a place on the platform. It’s likely this will continue, and become even more accessible for brands trying to reach their consumers in-app. We expect to see an increase in functionality when it comes to Instagram’s shopping features, but also perhaps a prevalence of more out there changes, like virtual outfits.
In addition to this, from the brand-side, retailers are likely to continue to exploit Instagram as a platform to reach their consumers by creating exclusivity and vitality on their personal accounts. Brands like Burberry have already started doing this with the likes of their B Series drops on their page, as Instagram is a great platform to use when it comes to building up hype about collections and products.
Instagram’s visual recognition software will become more finely-tuned
The platform’s visual recognition capabilities are already top notch, but it’s likely they will be able to do even more when it comes to image recognition. Our final Instagram prediction for 2020 is that the platform will start to detect the content of photos much more easily, as Facebook’s machine learning algorithm improves. In this case, it’s important to use the right hashtags, so your account is favoured, and not penalised, as believe it or not, hashtags help Instagram’s image recognition software to grow. Read more about why, here.
We hope you enjoyed reading through our Instagram predictions for 2020! Let us know your predictions in the comment section below.