Future of Instagram
Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Instagram is dominating the digital-sphere right now. For better or for worse it's what's trendy and has helped a lot of creative people get their work out to the world. The engaging integrative interface is easy to use and is likely why millions have flocked to the social media channel. There is no doubt the platform has done a lot of good since its start in 2010, but even with its rise to over 1 billion users, the days where organic growth and authenticity thrived are coming to an abrupt end. Since I began using the channel religiously almost 4 years ago I've watched my organic reach peak at around 70,000 views a week. I was super proud of my numbers. I'd put an insane amount of hours into scheduling, creating beautiful content, connecting with other creatives, working with brands, editing content and so much more. Unfortunately, as 2017 approached I watched my reach slowly decline week by week as Instagram rolled out various algorithms that they claimed would build a better community. In reality these algorithms dismantled a once thriving authentic community. Hard working creatives that built Instagram's notoriety up to what it is today were no longer the focus and we are now entering an era where the app puts more energy into in-app ads than moving into the future of what social media could be. The app is slowly digging its own grave the same way Facebook pages did a few years prior.
As someone who has studied the trends of social media evolution, I see two clear options. We keep giving our valuable attention to companies who invest their time into building better data mining and ad revenue tactics, or we start paying upfront for the service. The latter would build an innate framework where social platform's like Instagram would work harder to create a space where authentic engagement is the top priority. The truth is, social media has certainly evolved to the point where the line between professional news and entertainment outlets is comparable to the content we view on these channels. Often the trends show that people are consuming more and more "social media" than traditional outlets anyway, so why there is a fear of paying for the service is unknown to me. When it comes down to it, I just hate seeing people waste their time and money on an entity that doesn't have fair long term intentions for what's best for everyone.
My suggestion is to follow technology gurus like Jaron Lanier and Nicholas Carr and to follow their advice by taking action by looking into platforms like Vero. It's important to understand that the way of the future isn't always going to be perfect out of the gate as Vero has exemplified by the many challenges upon launch. Despite those challenges, we should continue to strive towards building a social media community that let's the best creators, innovators, and story tellers organically reach the masses and to support the platforms that want more balance when it comes to the amount of time we spend online. Remember, following the best of the best on social media is no different than watching reality tv, BBC's Planet Earth, or your favorite news channels. Adapting usually means that there will be a bit of a learning curve but I promise that the amount of energy you invest will be far less than the energy you waste on expendable platforms like Instagram. My intention is to give you an inside look at how digital innovators are thinking so you can be more open to a shift in the way we use social media. In my mind, It certainly will continue to be an operative force in all of our lives so let's be careful in how we invest our time into these services and keep striving towards a better balance in the way we use the technology.
Nick Uthe is a life enthusiast, traveler, and digital entrepreneur in Salt Lake City. He is the Owner of outdoor apparel and media brand GrandTaiga, and a Contributor for Outside TV, and HUMANFITPROJECT.