Meta is turning Instagram into a TikTok clone. What does this mean for small businesses?

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Source: Unsplash/Alexender

Oh, Instagram, what have you done? This week it’s become glaringly obvious that the internal panic button has been hit at Meta, multiple times. It appears they are willing to sacrifice Instagram up to the Gods of Growth to stay relevant, and the users are not happy.

Revolting against change in social media platforms is nothing new; we’ve been doing it since the dawn of the first tweak to an algorithm. But this time, it seems different. This time the revolt seems more human and perhaps more likely to affect change. This time it’s affecting the people, not just the corporations.

If you haven’t followed along with the mess that our mates at Meta have created, you’re probably living under a rock, which these days might not be a bad thing. In fact, you’ve been spared from a week of chaos and screams of “now what?!”. As for the rest of us, it’s been a week of absolute mayhem and a lot of tears.

So what does all this change mean for small businesses? Well, the outlook isn’t great.

From the look of the Instagram feed, to the suggested posts and all videos now becoming Reels, we’re at the point where many feel Instagram is a TikTok clone and no longer a photo-sharing app; which is excellent if you are one of the many creators that Instagram so obviously covets, but not so awesome if you’re a small business trying to get by with the day-to-day, and possibly attempt a minimal marketing strategy. 

We’ve known for a while that video was the future for Instagram (and all social platforms), and slight adjustments over the past few weeks have cemented this fact. Simply put, if you’re not doing video, Instagram isn’t interested. It leaves those who only want (or can) post photos in a bad spot and no choice but to update their strategy.

The (good) strategists have been saying for years that it’s dangerous to go all in on one platform — you’re building your business on rented land. We’ve been pushing the need to diversify your presence, focus on your website and grow your mailing list. Control the things you can control, right? While some have listened, many haven’t and are now struggling to be seen. 

Organic reach has long been in decline, and for those who were just barely holding on, these latest changes will send them over the edge. Not everyone wants to be a creator, some just want to see their friends and sell their products without dancing for the dollar.

Give us our old Instagram back, please, we beg you. Even Kylie and Kim agree.

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