It is no doubt that Instagram is the social media platform of the moment. Reaching one billion active users last year is just one of the many ways in which Instagram has made their dominance in the social world eminent. However, many are becoming concerned that Instagram is taking a similar route to Business Page reach that their parent company, Facebook has.
Since its release, Facebook had promoted Business Pages’ content to reach every user who had liked that specific page. Eventually, they slowly reduced that reach, causing Business Page owners who relied on Facebook for social selling to pay for Facebook’s paid ad features. At the time, Facebook justified this move by citing users’ frustration with the lack of family and friends posts in their feeds.
While this makes sense logically, it is no coincidence that this also played into Facebook’s larger business strategy. Page owners had begun to rely on organic growth and traffic from Facebook and now with that steady stream running dry, they had no other option but to look into Facebook’s paid advertising therefore trapping them into a never-ending cycle.
Today, Facebook Business Pages reach engagement levels in the single digits. Are there signs that this is where Instagram is headed too?
Ads, on ads, on ads…
A tell-tale sign of a shift in Instagram’s marketing was the appearance of many new ad units throughout the platform. Instagram added new ads in their Explore feed and is currently tinkering with the idea of back-to-back Instagram Story ads–both which push revenue options for the platform significantly. While neither of those options may hinder the user experience dramatically, it is a suggestion of what might be the next shift in Instagram marketing…which is what businesses are fearing the most.
If Instagram is truly trying to increase their income, one way that they could achieve that goal is through cutting organic reach.
This is a concept that is not entirely new to Instagram users. Rumors of limited reach on Instagram have been circulating for years, in January, Instagram released a statement denying rumors that post reach had been limited to 7% a profile’s following.
And although Instagram denies a decline in post reach, a new report from Trust Insights shows a clear down-curve in Instagram engagement and reach for brand accounts.
While none of these trends are conclusive that Instagram will be limiting business pages’ reach, it does raise questions for the future of marketing on the platform.
What do you think about the new trends? Do you think Instagram is headed down the same path as Facebook? Let us know in the comments!