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News & Insight

Instagram’s New Logo Was A Distraction To Their Main Play This Week

By Kishore Sawh on May 15th 2016

Instagram has become the ubiquitous social media platform of the day, and part and parcel of that status is hatred and misunderstanding. It’s easy for those who aren’t really engaged in it or those who don’t look further than skin-deep to think frivolously about it and thus dismiss its changes as nothing more than a trifle. But if you’re a photographer, or a brand, or a model, you really can’t afford that, and I urge you to open your eyes and look deeper – Instagram has been and is the weapon behind massive successes.

Honestly, if you do some digging, and I have, the stories of business growth facilitated and attributed largely to Instagram usage are mesmerizing, and the numbers involved are eye-widening, bowel-loosening, and perhaps laugh-out-loud ludicrous.

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One of the more recently publicized successes has been the meteoric rise of Triangl, a bikini brand that’s the brainchild of an Australian duo who found themselves broke in Hong Kong only to start Triangl and go from $5 million in sales in the first year to an eye-watering $25 million the second – largely attributed to strategic Instagram use. When we consider this, and the well known fact that product placement within the IG images of heavily followed users demands a pretty penny, it’s hard to avoid acknowledging two things: Instagram proves how powerful imagery is, and, anything Instagram does is going to potentially affect commerce in a large way, and for a great many people.

So it’s little surprise when this week the dominant news in the world of tech and social media was the atrocious new re-design of Instagram’s logo, which seemed less avant-garde, and more Windows 95. The change itself became instantly meme-worthy and even garnered its own charge.org petition to change it back – that’s some 350,000 people strong. But something else occurred while we were all too busy staring at the kaleidoscope, it seems IG’s new algorithm hit stride.

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If you go onto your IG account and pay attention to the times the posts in your feed were posted, you’ll likely notice the order is no longer chronological.

Now, I wrote about this when it was announced, and how this means only good things for you as a consumer and as a photographer, but since it’s likely hitting you now, it’s really time to pay attention. In many ways, actually, this could be a leveling of the playing field because your quality of content on IG has never mattered like it matters right now, so if you were considering a focused effort on IG, it would seem this is the moment – when being seen frequently and by many is less about strict numbers of current followers, but on merit moving forward. The kind of growth matters and is more important than ever.

Having this discussion with some friends I know with trailer loads of followers revealed that a question they often get asked is how does this benefit photographers?

[REWIND: Instagram Just Became Its Most Relevant For Photographers & They Can’t See It]

It benefits photographers the same way it does any brand, and considering IG is strictly visual, you’re already well suited to this platform. It’s also worth keeping in mind perhaps the most exciting thing IG has in store which we’ll touch upon later this week likely, and that’s the fact Instagram is testing a ‘Direct Contact’ which would allow users to email you directly, and that’s part of the User Business Profile which IG is testing right now. I cannot stress enough that if you’re a photographer and not making the most of IG, you’re letting the some of the best pass you by. Stay tuned.

About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Derek Couts

    At first, I was pretty PO’d about the whole thing, but truth be told, I believe the algorithm change is something that will separate the crowd even more of those who complain, and those who accept it and run with it. Will the challenge be a little harder? Maybe. But if you can gain traction with it, don’t let go and let the algorithms skyrocket you.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      This is what I think is actually what we should be thinking, Derek. From solely a consumer side it’ll be better, obviously, because the curated feed is configured to show you wha you most want to see (judging from various metrics). From the producer side, even for those with few followers, being seen won’t be just a matter of how many followers you have, but rather on quality. If someone has 100k followers, but has slacked off and their content isn’t current, nor is it great, they’ll be weeded out of view, and so many followers won’t mean a damn thing in terms of conversions. If, on the other hand, you have solid content that’s in demands, regardless of your current following, it stands to reason your work will catch on more.

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  2. Christian Santiago

    It’s been a never ending uphill battle to gather my very small following on instagram. I imagine this new system will greatly benefit people who currently have large followings with lots of interactions. But if your following is dependent on how often people interact with you, I don’t see how it’s going to be possible to be build a large following from within IG. And only the top of the top will have the klout to justify the narcism of asking people to prioritize you in their lives by turning on notifications.

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  3. Mike Upton

    Challenge accepted, Instagram.

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  4. Sean Lewis

    I worried when I first heard about this change that it would be harder to grow a following on IG w/ limited exposure, considering one’s posts will now be seen when followers regularly like one’s content or otherwise turn on notifications (instead of running on a linear or chronological posting schedule). I currently have a small following and not too much traffic, but I’d like to focus more on building up an IG audience. I guess it will require a higher visibility on other platforms now, more than ever, to drive traffic to IG. In other words, it might be harder now to gather followers from within IG. Would you agree?

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    • Kishore Sawh

      I think concerning oneself with notifications is a fool’s errand. The requests by people to have their audience turn on notifications is understandable because they want to be seen for sure, but again, Instagram isn’t going to be removing posts but rather re-arranging the order they are displayed. This is what we’ve been told thus far. The thing is too, that if someone has to ask you to look at their stuff, you’re likely not that interested in it anyway.

      I truly believe Instagram, like any other social platform, is a long-term endeavor. I’m not original in thinking that as most successful social media persons echo the same. I think there are ways to really grow and grow quickly, and it’s certainly easier to grow quickly on here than on Snapchat, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and by that i mean in 3 months. It takes longer. I think it’s probably also good to note that the point of IG for your business has to be defined, but generally it’s to get viewers to link back to your site, business, whatever your main platform is to convert.

      Do I think it may be harder to gather followers now? Perhaps, but I just don’t know. I think like anything else, if you’re putting out the type of material people want, you will be found if you’re doing it right. That means being consistent – putting out one post every other week won’t do it. You need to be current to be relevant. And interacting is huge, I’ve see that in our own SLRL IG. I truly think this helps to level the playing field and things like bought followers will be shown to me nothing now.

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