Two of the most popular mobile social media platforms, SnapChat and Instagram, have announced drastic changes to their applications in the past month. The announcements have users in an uproar, but is it necessary? I’ll fill you in on the changes and let you decide.
According to Snap Chat’s blog, they want to make their Chat feature “the best way to communicate — second only to hanging out face-to-face.” In an effort to further that mission, they announced some updates to the feature, calling it Chat 2.0. Chat 2.0 will allow friends to send stickers or instantly send live audio or video messages. The goal is to make the communication as seamless as possible to reflect an actual face-to-face interaction.
Another change that’s irking some of the users is the auto-play feature on Snap Stories. Instead of separating and pausing after each user, as you tap through Snap Stories you run through your whole feed of recent updates. It might be a change, but it’s certainly a time saver!
The Facebook-owned Image App announced that they will be switching to an algorithm based News Feed rather than the chronological view that subscribers are used to. Instagram claims that on average its users miss about 70% of their feed when it is shown in chronological order. Users will now see posts that the app deems most relevant to them based on interactions and relevance. It’s a big change but not an unexpected one when you consider the recent addition of advertising and the acquisition by Facebook which followed a similar pattern.
What does this mean for businesses?
The Instagram change has the biggest impact on businesses using the application. Social Media Managers will now have to learn how to navigate the new algorithm to make sure their fans are seeing as much of their content as possible. I predict this will drive many businesses to adjust their strategy and increase engagement.
However, for better or worse these major changes indicate that these applications are here to stay. Unlike so many that rise to popularity and disappear just as quickly, SnapChat and Instagram are withstanding the test of time. They’re already big players in the social media game, but these changes will make them even bigger. If your audience is using these platforms and your business is not, I’d recommend fixing that immediately!
Not sure if your target audience is using these apps? Our FREE social media e-book can help you determine which platform is best for your business.