Instagram boss Adam Mosseri has laid out three priority areas for the platform in 2023 as it looks to improve on an “up and down” 2022.
What are Instagram’s priority areas for 2023?
Its three key priorities are:
- Inspire creativity.
- Discover new things.
- Spark connections.
Potentially a boost for businesses
Instagram wants to inspire creativity and to do that it will arm users with new creative tools. The new additions should help brands to unleash their creativity and boost engagement by creating fresh, eye-catching posts, although marketers will still need an intimate knowledge of their audience and their product’s value proposition.
Basically – you can dress up a post all you want, but if it doesn’t connect with your audience then results will suffer.
Everyday users will probably still struggle to see a lot of posts from friends and family. 2022 was the year Instagram started to recommend more and more content – a la TikTok – to the detriment of a feed populated with posts from accounts that users actually follow. Whether the majority of Instagram users accept this move is yet to be seen, but there are some early signs that people aren’t happy – just look at the comments underneath Mosseri’s video!
It’s not just brands that are being encouraged into video. Creators are being pushed towards producing more video content than ever before and that’s probably not going to change in 2023, although the way they get discovered and the engagement on videos should.
More creative options to consider
When Instagram was first released, it gave its many users access to image editing tools for the first time. Now, Insta wants to release fresh ways for users to customise posts, Stories and Reels, which will allow brands and creators to experiment and be a little more creative.
That means new technologies such as AR, VR and 3D objects.
An evolving discovery
Mosseri wants Instagram to be “a place where you discover amazing things every time you use it,” which probably means that Insta will ramp up its discovery tools over the coming 12 months.
Instagram’s discovery shift has been a bone of contention among users and that won’t change in 2023. In fact, it seems like Insta will be even more discovery-led and will continue to recommend content from accounts that you don’t follow. For brands, this could mean that the overall size of your following is less important because most of your engagement will come from users who don’t follow you.
And different engagement
Instagram is working on new ways to spark connections between accounts, such as Notes. Notes lets users publish a conversation prompt above your inbox. If that can be a source for new engagement and conversations, brands and creators would be advised to start using them.
There may also be new features in the pipeline that prioritise new forms of engagement.
An evolving focus
At the beginning of 2022, Instagram had some very different priorities and it’s interesting to see how Mosseri and his crew have changed their goals for the app.
For example, one of the things Instagram wanted to improve was video and we all saw the huge effort it put into promoting Reels as a viable alternative to TikTok.
It also wanted to improve messaging, transparency and controls and help creators make a living from the platform. Through various ways and means it has done some of that – although not all the changes were universally popular.
2023’s focus areas certainly build on 2022’s. For example, now the video infrastructure and audience is in place, Instagram will focus on improving engagement and proving that creators can make a living on the platform.
Not everyone is happy with all of Instagram’s changes, but if it can make it easier for brands to boost engagement via creative, innovative bits of content, then that’s no bad thing.
* Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash.