Ever since it rolled out the algorithm-based feed, Instagram has been batting back criticism from content creators who claimed their organic reach had fallen. It insisted that this new feed would show users the “best” content based on their previous viewing habits and, if they continued to scroll for long enough, users would see every new update from everyone they follow.
Now, however, the Facebook-owned platform appears to be embracing its low organic reach, using a quote from Old Navy’s VP of Brand Communications to emphasise how important it is to pay for sponsored content.
“We’ve long seen that customers want to discover fashion through trusted sources who have credibility, but organic reach on that content has become increasingly limited,” says Liat Weingarten in the 4 June blog post. “So we’re consistently looking for more sophisticated ways like Branded Content ads to serve partner content to the right shoppers, instead of just throwing it into the social ether. Promoting content directly from an influencer’s handle inherently gives the post more authenticity than coming from a brand handle, and we’re seeing significantly higher engagement rates using this strategy.”
While it’s refreshing to see Instagram being so truthful, it’s sad to know that a platform that used to feel fun and exciting is now going the same way as Facebook, with memes, “viral” content, and all too many sponsored posts dominating.