This week Instagram is hosting its own Creator Week a series of panels, in which a number of internal experts and influential people on the platform share their insights on how to make the most of the platform, how to connect with the audience, how Instagram algorithms actually work and much more.
Today, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri took to the stage for a live Q and A session in which he answered a series of frequently asked questions from Instagram users.
Mosseri provides a range of insights, including:
- Instagram cannot guarantee a stable reach due to constant changes in the algorithm. Mosseri notes that as more people join Instagram, the competition for reach is always changing, meaning users will see fluctuations in their reach statistics.
- As for best practices, Mosseri says tilting videos is good, with the first two seconds crucial to attracting viewers. Mosseri also notes that hashtags are still valuable to discover, while consistently posting (Mosseri records two feed posts per week, two stories per day) will help you build your followers. In the second session of the Creator of the Day week working with platform algorithms, Instagram has also noted that while posting to newer sites like Reels won’t boost your reach, as such, using all available sites will mean you increase your chances of discovering content in the app.
- Mosseri says the global introduction of Reels has been delayed due to music licensing in some regions
- Mosseri explains that checking on Instagram refers to providing identification to people who are more likely to engage in false representation, and the check is usually assessed based on the applicant’s mention in the press.
- Instagram wants to do more on direct payments for authors (limited liability content, subscriptions, badges, and tips), which Mosseri wants to explore because it gives creators a more direct relationship with their fans.
- The platform is also exploring new revenue sharing models for video, including reel monetization
- Don’t buy fake followers. Mosseri says Instagram’s detection systems are improving based on a number of factors, and buying followers can put your account at significant risk.
- Mosseri also offers news on the steps he is taking to address system bias and abuse on his platform.
Interestingly, Mosseri also deals with the question of what, in his opinion, TikTok is currently doing better than Instagram. Mosseri says TikTok is currently better at breaking down new and young talent, which Instagram is trying to improve, while TikTok is also better at providing reliable entertainment.
As per Mosseri:
“You know you can touch TikTok and you’ll immediately smile and have fun.”
Interestingly, Mosseri says Instagram is working to improve its Reels algorithm to provide a similar, or ideally better, experience, but believes TikTok, who has been making videos in short form for longer, is at the forefront of entertainment.
TikTok’s algorithm is highly inclined to the specific features of each clip that will keep you going, which is why it’s so easy to constantly scroll through the endless TikTok stream for hours. When TikTok really wins is that it has trained its algorithms on the right elements to keep the user interested, and the full-screen presentation of TikTok clips gives him a better insight into what engages you, based on how long you watch, like / follow, what other videos people watch in a relationship, etc.
I guess most people would agree with Mosseri that TikTok is more fun, but it’s an interesting admission from the platform anyway.
That said, Mosseri says Instagram is focused on providing value to creators in the long run – “and to help millions of creators make a living over the next five to ten years.”
That could be the way Instagram eventually keeps the TikTok wave – although TikTok is still growing fast, it hasn’t yet established a solid framework for monetizing creators. Short-term monetization of content is difficult because you can’t insert ads in the middle or in the long clips for seconds. But on Instagram, creators can monetize their content and presence more widely, in multiple ways, while embracing new trends like short-form content, to a wide audience.
If Instagram can provide more earning potential, it may prove to be enough bait to steal some of those stars from TikTok and ultimately show younger creators on the rise that it provides more pathways to revenue for their work.
Here are some interesting notes for Instagram creators and retailers, along with this week’s earlier session on the topic ’Breaking through the myths of the algorithm‘, and Instagram explanation post on the internal workings of his systems provide a good overview of the goals of the Instagram process and the types of content he wants to promote.
As Mosseri notes, there is no magic trick to help you encourage every post to millions of people, but by taking into account the signals the Instagram team highlights and concrete explanations, you can better understand the key elements needed for an effective platform strategy.