Instagram 2022 — What You Need to Know!
Instagram is taking on 2022 with all cylinders firing!
For years, Instagram was thought of as Facebook’s little sister — great for millennials and Gen Z’ers to share pictures, but not really a serious contender as a revenue generator for publicly-traded Facebook.
With new Instagram features being introduced in the last few years, like the ‘Shop’ function and ‘Stories’, Instagram started not only generating revenue, but surpassing Facebook in revenue growth.
In 2021, Instagram had more than 2 billion monthly active users (MAUs). Facebook currently has 2.91 MAUs. And while revenue growth at Facebook is expected to increase 18% in 2022, Instagram’s revenue growth is projected to top 30% for the same period to over $17 billion.
So what else is happening at Instagram that makes it an impactful presence in the social media industry?
A New Instagram Focus in the Meta Universe
With Facebook changing its name to Meta and embracing a metaverse future, Instagram is positioning as a key player in the overall metaverse strategy along with Oculus VR, WhatsApp, and Onavo.
In 2022, you will see Instagram transitioning away from being a photo sharing app to being more of a video app that is being integrated into the metaverse.
Starting with ‘Stories’ and moving on to ‘Reels’, we see Instagram pivoting away from photo sharing to video where, according to Mark Zuckerberg, “it’s the largest contributor to engagement growth.” In 2022, the platform will focus squarely on entertainment, creators, and shopping to compete directly with TikTok and YouTube, it’s two major competitors.
As the platform moves forward, expect to see a shift from a ‘square photo-sharing app’ to more of a mobile-first, immersive, full screen video experience that meshes perfectly with the overall Facebook/Meta business plan.
‘Reels’ is TikTok for Instagram 2022
‘Reels’ launched over a year ago but has really exploded in popularity in the last three to six months. We’ve talked about Reels’ place in the overall Facebook Metaverse business plan and the Instagram social media marketing scheme, but what exactly is Reels?
Conceived initially as a competitor for TikTok, Reels are 15-second videos that are intended to entertain and engage. Like with Instagram’s picture editing features, Reels has some great effects and creative tools that make them easy to create and highly engaging.
Instagram 2022 will also see the kickoff of ‘Reel Replies’ where users will be able to reply to comments on their feed with a 15-second Reel video clip — a perfect way for a business to address product questions or concerns.
Instagram is invested in making it as easy as possible for creators to use their platform and produce quality content that can be shared either to their private subscribers or publicly.
Additionally, Reels ‘snackable content’ is perfect for influencer marketing opportunities where products or services make for visually interesting content. And if you haven’t watched them before, they are kind of compelling – one after another after another.
Instagram 2022 is Exploring Buying and Selling Cryptocurrency
While they may not rival Ethereum any time soon, Instagram is actively exploring the idea of being a destination to buy and sell non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — digital assets stored on a blockchain, which handily works well in the overall Meta business plan and their Horizons World metaverse platform on Oculus VR.
As metaverse opportunities seem to be exploding in 2022, watch for Instagram to expand their presence in the NFT space as part of Meta’s plan to dominate the virtual metaverse.
Instagram is Testing 3 New Feed Order Options
Instagram’s algorithmically-generated feed structure has been widely unpopular since its introduction in 2016.
Using AI to assemble a personalized feed, Instagram populated users’ streams based on that user’s activity. Turns out, not everyone wants to be shown an altered feed, but instead prefers their own chronological feed based on their specific follows and preferences.
To kick off the new year, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced testing on a new type of Instagram feed or timeline that would have three different feed options.
Hoping to make everyone happy (a tough challenge under the best of circumstances), Instagram will feature three ways to view your news feed and, ultimately, shape your overall Instagram experience:
- Home — same as today’s feed option where Instagram’s algorithm delivers content ranked by your viewing habits with viewing suggestions and ads filtered throughout.
- Favorites — a curation feature that will allow Instagram 2022 users to curate a precise list of accounts that they want to follow.
- Following — Described by Instagram as a ‘no-nonsense chronological feed’ based on your list of follows. While there will still be ads, your content will include all those ‘follows’ you haven’t seen lately.
If you’re part of the early testing, it’s easy to choose your feed type. Tap on the upper left hand corner logo, you will get a drop down menu to select which type of feed you want. It’s easy to jump back and forth. Remember, it’s not sticky (at least on the beta version). You will have to make your selection each time you visit.
For the rest of us, the feature might not be available until summer.
Now if Facebook would follow suit, they might win back some of the younger users who have either left the site or delayed signing up over the last number of years.
Growing Focus on Creators and Influencers
Instagram is 110% focused on favorite creators and influencers and has even adopted a hashtag — #sponcon — to facilitate interaction.
In fact, you can create a new Instagram Creator Account that has specialized analytics, direct messaging tools, and flexible labels that provide increased functionality when creating content.
Today’s consumers want hyper-personalized content and an experience that they feel speaks directly to them. Through Instagram Creator Accounts, you are able to craft a more personal one-to-one customer experience while promoting your product or services.
When you are developing marketing strategy in 2022, it will be critical to include content marketing that capitalizes on video communications, like Reels and Stories.
Profile Embed to Cross Promote Your Content
Instagram announced in early 2022 that you will now be able to embed your public Instagram profile on websites including Twitter. The profile would include your last six posts and link directly back to your Instagram feed. That means photos, Reels, Carousels, and videos would be available on outside websites creating more ways to share digital content.
Instagram is hoping this new profile embed option will grow their creator pool. However, it remains to be seen if websites will want to steer their users to someone else’s Instagram feed?
Trying to Address Parental Control Issues in Instagram 2022
Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, has spent time recently on Capitol Hill in senate hearings on parent control on social media sites.
His proposed solutions:
- An ‘industry body’ to determine best practices for parental controls and children’s data feeds.
- Creating universal standards and protections to govern all social media platforms.
- Introducing a new feature on Instagram — ‘Take a Break’ which creates a parent-controlled pause on consumption. This new feature gives parents more control over a child’s Instagram use and types of content.
While many senators felt it was too little—too late, the ‘Take a Break’ feature has proven popular on Instagram and has moved beyond the beta phase.
How to Leverage New Instagram Features for Your 2022 Digital Marketing Needs
As you and your business look at this year’s marketing strategies and overall marketing plan, Lounge Lizard Worldwide has a team of digital marketing professionals that understand the nuances of social media marketing (SMM).
Our digital team builds design strategies that focus on SMM trends in 2022, including:
- Influencers/Favorite Creators — Video content, as well as image content, on Instagram requires an organized plan focusing on creators and influencers that resonate with your clients and a marketing team that understands cross promotion in today’s SMM landscape.
- Content Marketing — Types of content, from video scripting to production, effective captioning and hashtagging, and product placement all factor into a powerful and productive SMM campaign.
- Shop — Leveraging the Instagram Shop function within the expanding Reels environment as well as developing a collaborative relation on traditional Instagram photos.
Contact Lounge Lizard to learn more about our digital marketing and SMM services, including brand optimization and management, website design and development, SEO, and ongoing marketing services. We understand today’s Instagram and can help your business benefit from an expanded presence (or new presence) in the fast-paced and changing world of social media.