Instagram doesn’t fall far from the Facebook tree
Instagram is moving away from its roots as a simple photo sharing app to something that is more of a conglomerate, all-incorporated social media app akin to Snapchat and its new parent, Facebook.
We have seen Instagram adopt strategies from other apps, including its recent (and much hated) switch to a Facebook-like timeline algorithm where posts are ordered based on what Instagram thinks users want to see rather than showing posts in real time. Now it looks like Instagram will take on another Facebook personality trait, incorporating live video feed into its Instagram Stories feature.
Copy cat but a cool cat nevertheless
In August Instagram released Instagram Stories, a nearly carbon copy of Snapchat’s exact same feature, where users can post snippets of their day outside of their regular timeline available for 24 hours. Though the company has not officially announced an update, Russian news site TJournal reported Android users seeing a “live” tag appears over a story icons this week, as well as a currently non-functional “Go Insta!” button which presumably allows users to cast live video.
Although this mostly holds promise for embarrassing 2am baby-talking to your dog posts, live video could be a new outlet for advertisers. “Live video is also a way to attract spending from the lucrative television advertising market, which Facebook is working very hard to crack,” notes The Verge.
Gotta catch ’em all
We’re used to Facebook being riddled with sidebar ads, featured ads, sponsored posts, and curated trending now sections. While Facebook still has a stronghold on the 18-29 market, many younger users are emigrating from Facebook to Twitter, Snapchat, and most notably, Instagram, abandoning the social media behemoth entirely.
With a younger user-base embracing Instagram over Facebook, advertisers can look to this as a source of new marketing. But how do you market to a group that opts out of traditional advertising with services like Netflix and Hulu that all but cut-out TV advertising?
Ads ads everywhere
Instagram goes back and forth featuring ads in the midst of regular posts. It seems every couple of months regular feeds are interrupted with sponsored ads featuring “shop now” options in the corner. Unlike Twitter, users can’t “delete” the ads or provide feedback that the content is not relevant or interesting. IG doesn’t seem to care if you like it or not, it’s there to stay.
Incorporating live video would allow the company to be more in your face with their ads if they choose to go that route. You don’t have a choice other than to stop using the app if you don’t want to see featured advertisements. IG’s live video option may be the answer for marketers seeking to reach a not so niche audience, but at the risk of annoying users who are already tired of feeds oversaturated with advertisements.
Keeping it in the family
Marketing potential aside, Snapchat and Vine have proven people love sharing unedited, live streams of themselves. A live video option could be a welcome addition for those who primarily use Instagram for social networking. Users can reach out to their existing fan base without the hassle of amassing new followers on other apps with similar services. Instagram has yet to comment, but I’d say it’s a safe bet that live video beta will released soon now that the secret is out.