How this pandemic may be the death of Instagram...
or a time that causes its greatest innovations yet to be seen.
All entrepreneurs should take note of what is happening currently, and why it is happening this way.
I still remember when Instagram came out during my final years of college. A platform that existed solely to snap a quick picture, throw on a quick filter, write a witty caption, and within minutes…you could send it off for the world to see.
Back then, it gave power to the people because it made everyone feel like they could be a photographer/creative. No longer did you have to buy an expensive camera, be a “professional photographer,” or even understand what aperture, shutter speed, depth meant.
It lowered the barrier to entry, and solved a problem in society during the time. It brought everyday life, to life, through photos.
Within a flash, it quickly evolved into the behemoth it is today. But something interesting happened, and it is starting to show during the current pandemic.
Video capabilities were added, DM’s were added, IG stories were added, blue check marks were added, PERSONAL BRANDS became a thing, ads ads ads. No longer did the platform exist just to bring life, to life. It became a place for ego. A place to show off. An area where you either were an influencer, or a follower. Some people’s livelihood literally became "how can we come up with the most interesting story out of nothing."
Better cameras were needed to “stand out,” more followers were needed to get “noticed,” and people started believing their own worth was tied to the follower count, number of notifications, and overall look of their account.
Now he we are today, a couple months into a global pandemic. Things seem to be shifting a bit. With the fate of the world up in the air, many are seeking comfort from the new reality of being sheltered in place.
Where are they going for this comfort? Besides Netflix, going on multiple walks a day, people are moving in droves onto TikTok.
Yes this new platform is more flashy, a little bit out there, but it does one critical thing better than Instagram. It allows you to make video edits within the platform. It is STICKY…meaning it can trap you inside with all the different themes, music, transitions…and more you can create within it.
It reminds me of when Instagram first started. Not everyone was on it. It was a new thing and took awhile to capture everyone. TikTok is seeing the same thing. What used to be for kids only, now has adults joining in on the party during the global #quarantine. This awakens me to what could be a drastic change in Instagram, and the behaviore of the user base that sits on it.
When you really sit back and think about it, what “problem” is Instagram solving these days. There is only so many stories and long winded posts people can make in their life before it becomes boring. Before something else comes along to steal some thunder.
That time is now.
TikTok literally turns the average person into a video editor, graphic designer, DJ, and more all within in one platform. Comparatively, Instagram is a platform where for the most part, we have to do all the editing off the platform. This is extremely time consuming for most, so typically they resort to paying creatives to do the work for them. But when money is running tight, like during a pandemic, people resort to solving their own problems…which may end up being on a completely different platform.
Example: how many of you have seen someone re-share a TikTok video on Instagram? This is a sign!
There are so many ways I could go to end this post. But I will stick to the point I want to convey.
There are a lot of people losing jobs, worried about their futures, and struggling to understand what the world will look like coming out of this. Yet, if you analyze your surroundings, there are so many problems that need solving. When you solve problems, you are granted with attention and opportunities to help solve more problems. The more problems you solve, the more impact you make…and with impact comes $$$.
I wanted to use two well-known platforms to showcase this entrepreneurial principle during our current times...ALWAYS FOCUS ON PROBLEM SOLVING!
So take a note out of TikTok’s book and find an area where you can solve problems today, tomorrow, and in the future to come. This will grab the attention you need to get the opportunities that will pay you.
Or you risk remaining stagnant like Instagram, where their organic reach per user is declining, innovation seems stale, and the user base is getting exhausted seeing the same thing over and over again.
Adapt or die as they say.
PS: There is a reason FaceBook and Instagram have been on top for a long time now. There is no doubt in my mind they have something cooking up. So be on the lookout.
To visualize how the growth of these platforms over the years, check out this YouTube video.
Agree? Or have a difference in opinion? Let us know!
Written by: CJ Finley