Updated: Jul 12
I remember when Instagram first took it’s place on my phone. I remember sitting on the app, uploading a photo and fiddling around with the filters, downloaded the HIGHLY edited image to my camera roll (who remembers the over-use of the ‘Lark’ filter?), never uploaded it to the app, and jumping off the platform. Silly me.
Since the birth of Instagram in 2010, it has since become THE PLATFORM for creativity - not only did we see the rise of Influencers and bloggers transitioning from the blog-threshold to Instagram, we also saw Instagram and Instagram influencers become one of the key marketing tools within the 21st century, especially when the dreaded pandemic hit.
However, a change in winds is upon us.
With the uprising of TikTok from the year of 2016, Instagram currently faces a real threat to the very thing that made it great - it’s use and promotion of static content. Video content, the new, organic and natural format of creativity, is on the rise, and TikTok harnesses what every gen-z’er (and older generations - parents, we see you!) has at the forefront of their mind when it comes to content - ease, minimal-thought, no fancy editing and genuine fun. With an array of filters, hit music tracks and an algorithm that champions genuine interest, rather than being based on follower size, TikTok takes social media back to the very thing that makes it great - great content being shared to entertain.
To give a little detail on how to TikTok algorithm works, the created video content is firstly shown to a small pool of users - if the content is successful and engaged with (in terms of how long it is viewed, if it is viewed repeatedly and if it is actively engaged with using likes and comments), it is then shown to a larger pool of users - the creator can see this happening, buy how their count jumps up at certain points. The higher the view count, the more users the content has been shown to.
The very nature and aesthetic of TikTok also aligns with the direction that social media should rightly be heading - with campaigns such as #filterdrop, there is a need for content to be without over-editing and filters, and for the over-polished content to become extinct. With TikTok, content is shot ‘in the moment’, embracing the very nature of what it means to be human. No longer is society looking to portray the ‘perfect’ image to followers; society is looking to celebrate a ‘real-life’ depictions of creativity, and celebrate reality.
With the threat of how seriously TikTok is growing and becoming the app for video content, Instagram is pulling its resources together to compete - with the likes of IGTV and reels, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has announced that Instagram will become a video and entertainment platform, showing that Instagram is clearly trying to find a way to compete with TikTok, if not, become better.
Could this be a war of the social media Titans to see who can be the best video and entertainment app? Personally, I am on TikTok’s side, and I am glad that I live in a digital world where content success is based on engagement and entertainment, rather than how many followers you possess.