Instagram was once the “it” app—a simple and straightforward creative social photo platform where users could completely curate their feeds. Now, Instagram looks like a mash-up of many other popular apps in one comprehensive (albeit less innovative) space. You’ve got the filters and stories from Snapchat, reels and recommendations from TikTok, direct messages from Facebook, and the new “conversation starters” from Twitter. Once the forerunner, Instagram is now working hard to catch up and compete. Still, the app celebrated 2 billion monthly active users in 2022 and remains a prime focus for marketers, brands, and consumers.
Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, recently announced the company’s 3 main goals for 2023. Understanding these goals illuminates the company’s mission and can help marketers see what trends, technologies, and changes are on the horizon.
Instagram's Three Main Goals for 2023
1. Inspire people to be creative.
This has always been a part of Instagram since its early days of sepia-toned photo filters. Now, the modes of creativity are much more expansive with text, video, live-streaming, polls and Q&As, music, commerce, carousels, and more. To reach a broader audience on Instagram, brands should focus on short video content, posting at least 5x per week to both stories and feeds, utilizing strategic hashtags, and engaging with comments, DMs, and other accounts.
2. Help people discover things they love.
81% of people use Instagram to research products and services. As it grows more and more like TikTok, Instagram is becoming a platform of discovery. You’ve probably noticed the increase in recommended posts and reels flooding your feed in between posts from people you follow. Mark Zuckerberg has said that currently 15% of IG content is based on an AI recommendation algorithm. That figure is expected to double by the end of 2023. Some consumers may find this annoying. Others will appreciate the recommendations. Either way, this shift adds pressure for marketers to strategize targeting brands’ core and tangential audiences.
3. Spark connections between people.
While there’s a lot of scrolling and swiping and shopping, Instagram is still very much social media. The brand has already started implementing points of difference to facilitate communication and engagement between users and brands. Now you’ll see large story-like bubbles in your DM inbox. These “Notes” are essentially conversation prompts—a new way to generate discussion. Other ways that Instagram is fostering social interaction is through the push for brands to cultivate superior, personal customer service via the app, incorporating more interactive capabilities (story polls, Brady Bunch-style IG lives, reactions to stories, and more).
Watch Moserri's full video on Instagram's 2023 trajectory below:
These goals aren’t “new” for Instagram, but a shifting landscape is pressing the company to meet its customer-needs (hey, it’s a brand, too!). As the app starts to change (as it inevitably will), the best thing a marketer can do is to understand the brand’s audience inside-out. Instagram’s analytic features can be incredibly useful in understanding your audience’s demographics and psychographics—both of which are equally important in creating a targeted campaign. When you know your audience (including their other interests, shopping behaviors, social media usage, and more), you’ll be better able to navigate any shift that Instagram (or any platform) throws your way.