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Checking your Facebook news feed nowadays can feel like a drive through Times Square.

There’s lots to look at, plenty of traffic, an occasional crazy person going on a rant and, of course, tons of ads. It can be exhausting, exhilarating and slightly frustrating, but boy do we love it.

Alternatively, Instagram can feel like a Sunday drive through the country. It’s peaceful, pretty and you always feel inspired when you’re done. And although there may be an occasional billboard, it doesn’t minimize the impact of the beauty around you.

The powers that be at Instagram have changed all that.

Recently, the visual-based platform announced that they are making some changes to their news feed algorithm. Instead seeing posts as they are posted, Instagram will sort them based on when it was posted, who posted it and if they think you’d be interested in seeing it.

Confused? Let’s go back to this clever country/city analogy. Instagram wants to take that idyllic country road and turn it into a planned suburban community. The Celebration, FL of social media platforms, if you will.

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Still very pretty. Still very quiet. Just tightly controlled by the Board without any say from the residents. But hey, it’s still a nice place to live.

And while Instagram’s most loyal users are voicing concern over these changes, there is real potential to improve the user experience and drive engagement – which is a good thing.  

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On the other hand, these changes can have a negative impact on brands who use Instagram to sell their products. As these changes roll out, it’s vital for brands to adapt a new strategy that works with the updates and not against them.

Previously, carefully curated imagery was the gold standard of brand marketing on Instagram.

Now, brands will have to work harder to create content that engages their audience and encourages comments and likes, while relying on influencers to help reach target demographics and niche markets.

And of course, the end goal for Instagram is for advertising to play a much larger role than ever before. But have no fear, Instagram is owned by Facebook. Which means if you’ve dabbled in the advertising waters there, you can easily transition that expertise onto Instagram (or, ask your Agency of Record to do it…did I mention we’re a social media marketing agency?).

Recently, Instagram has tried to calm growing concerns (and counter that pesky change.org petition), so it remains unclear how and when these changes will go fully into effect.

As consumers continue to about worry about the fate of their preciously, curated feeds, brands and organizations will have to come to the realization that the road to paradise will still be pretty, but it just might be a little more expensive along the way.

About the Author

Joey Conicella

In his pre-ChatterBlast life, Joey was co-owner of The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck in Orlando, Florida. Joey currently resides in the Fairmount section of the city with is husband, two dogs, cat, and one too many antiques.

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