It sure feels like it. It’s no secret that the Instagram algorithm has made it difficult for content creators to get their work seen — reducing engagement, pumping up ads, leaving accounts with stale followers, and ultimately killing off user excitement. But why is this happening?
Perhaps it’s because Instagram was never designed to be a platform for creators. It was designed as a place where people could encapsulate and share their lives – from photos and stories to everyday moments. The platform was intended to be an addition, not a career path; but as more people found success on the app, they began to rely on it for their professional work.
So, what does the future of Instagram look like?
Will it continue down the same road or will it make the necessary changes to support creators? It’s hard to say.
On one hand, with its current algorithm and features, Instagram can still be a great place for entrepreneurs and content creators. There are countless opportunities to connect with an audience, create beautiful visuals and share your work. On the other hand, however, as competition continues to increase and the algorithm remains unpredictable, it’s unclear how sustainable a career on Instagram will be.
Take, for example, Gen Z’s relationship with Instagram, which Anna wrote about in this week’s newsletter.
“Gen Z’s relationship with Instagram is much like millennials’ relationship with Facebook: Begrudgingly necessary. They don’t want to be on it, but they feel it’s weird if they’re not. In fact, a recent Piper Sandler survey found that, of 14,500 teens surveyed across 47 states, only 20 percent named Instagram their favorite social media platform (TikTok came first, followed by Snapchat).”
There’s a difference between being on instagram – and actively engaging with it. These days, participating feels more like a chore than an enjoyable experience.
But if Instagram can focus on creating an environment that supports creative expression – rather than just promoting content based on likes or followers – then maybe the future of Instagram isn’t as bleak as it seems.
Only time will tell. Until then, creators need to stay ahead of the game – and continue to innovate their content on whichever platform they choose. If Instagram can do the same and make changes that truly benefit creators in the long run, then maybe its future won’t be so uncertain after all.
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