Meta’s acquisition of Instagram was not unlikely as the social platform quickly made Facebook outdated. In order to stay with the times, Meta has used Instagram to smother other social media platform aspects. Instagram’s photo focused profiles steered away from the wordy posts that Facebook and Tumblr used in the early 2000s and now seems to have a copying effect to all other social media platforms, almost losing its originality.
Stories were meant to document real life video or photos in the moment. They disappeared after 24 hours and were watchable with close friends or to all followers. They could be decorated in stickers or text, even showing locations of businesses or events. These stories can be “highlighted” in the profile to reflect upon for many months after the 24 hour period. How did Instagram come up with this idea? After unsuccessful attempts to acquire Snapchat, Meta began mimicking the tactics of their competitor. Snapchat Stories was an interactive way to recap on your friend’s daily events. After a very slow beginning, Instagram Stories seemed to have been accepted across the platform.
Instagram remodeled their infrastructure and navigation of the app by adding an emphasis on Shop. Shopping through Instagram was originally used as an external link to an e-commerce site normally linked within the bio of the storefront profile. With the use of Shop, the e-commerce site is placed within the interface of Instagram. Products are listed and sold directly through the profile of the brand or store. How did Instagram come up with this idea? The popularity of Pinterest being a site that showed inspiration and manifestation for an ideal life made it extremely popular for businesses trying to sell their products as the ideal way to recreate their inspiration. Pinterest Business did not quite sell products within their platform, but allowed pins to identify creations inspired by the store’s products. Instagram Shop is now extremely popular among those who want items inspired by the ideal posts of brands they follow online.
In its testing stage, Candids are meant to give a random 2-minute notification warning to take a photo of what is going on in real life. This will use a front and back facing camera at the same time. How did Instagram come up with this idea? Be.Real is a fairly new social media app launched in 2020 with a mission to combat the falsity people post on Instagram. By giving in randomness in photos showing a 360 degree of life moments, Be.Real has been ranked the top app in the App Store. Individuals are able to have a relatable moment with their friends rather than staged stories, reels or posts that other social media apps have been known to portray. Marketers should be watching closely as the testing phase of Candids will be distributed to the public shortly.
Reels allowed creators on Instagram to create 15 second clips, overlay sounds and filters. The addictive scroll tactic and algorithm gathered data on what videos users are more likely to watch in full. Viewers could like, share or create similar content. How did Instagram come up with this idea? Tiktok’s popularity is undeniable and addictive behaviors of endless scrolling to the specific algorithm is impressive. The idea of short videos inspired dance, cultural trends and new celebrities. Instagram Reels are not quite to the level of Tiktok’s virality. Most creators are using both platforms, often uploading the same content in both places. Tiktok is combatting the Reels from Instagram by providing new filters daily, longer video creation and a better chat system when sending videos. It seems that Instagram, while able to corrupt the following of other apps quite easily, Tiktok may be the strongest competitor that is not giving up after the mimicking features on another app.
Instagram’s habits make marketers wonder if it is ever going to be possible to invest into another platform if each unique feature is being adapted into Instagram’s platform. I find it detrimental to the developing industry that Meta is growing larger and using other platforms for inspiration, stealing intelligence and ideas. While they are careful not to step into the legality of these tactics, it makes me wonder if creativity in the social media developing industry will become hopeless from Meta’s strategy overshadowing their competitors without offering compensation for their ideas.