A Note on Instagram
When it comes to social media marketing, there is no doubt that Instagram is fast becoming one of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenal, however there are still some aspects of the platform’s functionality that leave us feeling frustrated. At present it’s only possible to pre-schedule content through Hootsuite and any hyperlinks added to captions will be automatically de-activated.
Down at Instagram HQ, there seems to be a bit of an existential struggle going on between the aesthetic principals that have fuelled its success and the need to cater to big brands and businesses. Much of Instagram’s functionality is designed to ensure that content uploaded to the platform is curated and inspirational – hence the filters and photo editing tools. It’s also designed to capture those ‘in the now’ pictures – hence the ‘insta’ and why it’s a struggle to schedule content.
On the other hand, recent updates have seen the traditional square format scrapped along with the platform’s carefully curated list of approved advertisers (anyone can now run an ad though Facebook Ads Manager). Last week it also introduced ‘Account Switching’, enabling users to seamlessly switch between accounts without the performance of logging out and logging in again.
In many ways, we can understand Instagram’s caution when it comes to loosening the reins on these founding functions; the lack of active links is a direct response to its susceptibility to scammers and many of the restrictions have actually forced brands to think more creatively about their campaigns, which can only be a good thing.
That said, we would love to see them throw caution to the wind with these final sticking points. At the end of the day a campaign is only as good as its content and if your campaign is poor Instagram’s users will tell you themselves.