Is Instagram the next for Pay for Play?

Pay toPlay20

Let me preface this by saying this is by Locowise. Which is a social media analytics company. I always take these with a grain of salt when someone is selling. But, could this be correct? I decided to look at a few Instagram accounts I manage and see if I notice any slow down in engagement rate and growth.

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It appears to me that its still a great area for growth. Unlike when Facebook tweets the algorithm, I haven’t noticed any big drops in either. Whereas, Facebook I have seen drops the same or next day the changes go through. The drops seem to be the biggest between May/June of last year. It dropped by 2/3rds.

Lets examine the possibilities of the engagement rate/growth falling

  • It is owned by Facebook and they could bring an algorithm to Instagram
  • The larger it grows the harder it will be to stand out in the crowd
  • Ads are not being sold through Facebooks Ad Manager.

Will Facebook bring an Algorithm to Instagram? I don’t think they will, if they are wise. It goes against the nature of Instagram. People want to see it unfettered and clean. Plus Facebook has run Instagram pretty much hands off from the beginning. They would be foolish to change it now. If they do this could be a great opportunity for Twitter.

Standing out is harder? This is true no matter what it is. The more people you have in a social media. The more you have in the feed and the faster it will go. Look at Twitter’s stream. Most people don’t even go back and look at things. They just jump in when they log in. Instagram is like this. Sometimes you’ll go back and look but you rarely go back days.

Ads are no longer harder to get. When Instagram ads first came out they were hard to get. Now with the Facebook Ad Manager integration it’s much easier. This could be a away for Facebook to make a change to the news feed and tell brands to buy ads. This is very much the state of businesses on Facebook.

I haven’t experienced much down turn of engagement or growth on Instagram. I will be interesting how this plays out over the next few months. Or, if Facebook will admit they are going to change the way they run the news feed on Instagram.

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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