What? You didn’t hear the news?
Instagram’s 3-column scrolling gallery loved by illustrators, photographers and influencers alike is going away.
The very thing that makes Instagram unique — its square photo sharing feature (and filters) — is about to be wiped out and replaced by all video all the time.
But why? you ask.
Here’s why: Instagram (owned by Facebook) is being trounced by the video sharing app, TikTok, so it’s creating a clone to compete. Whenever Facebook is not winning it buys or copies the competition.
You can read this article here.
If you’re still thinking, “But wait … I like what differentiates Instagram from all the video-sharing apps, and so does everyone I know.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg knows how you feel, and he doesn’t care.
Here’s the thing: none of what you or I learned in school or in online webinars about audience-first business models applies to Facebook.
Listening to us and serving us has never been a priority. Mark’s measurable objective is total domination (a la Caesar Augustus). Customer feedback doesn’t stand a chance in that headspace.
Caesar Augustus, Artist Unknown. Vatican Museums, Rome
And here is where I admit to slipping up. Despite everything I know about Instagram’s rotten record as an online partner, I got lazy and I let it do my work for me.
Instagram become my Louvre, the main line to my audience.
And as I was merrily posting to the Gram, I got lazy and stopped archiving my illustrations on my website, a property I own and control.
To my current and former students: yes, I know better, but I’m human like you.
It’s worth repeating: we are all renters on social media platforms, from Facebook to YouTube to Instagram, and even on the straight-laced and seemingly reasonable LinkedIn. Meaning, once you post to any of these platforms, you lose control and copyright over your content — not to mention your ability to organically reach your entire audience.
So now I’m playing catchup. I’m trying to recreate the Instagram gallery format on my WordPress site.
I’m comparing and contrasting WordPress gallery plugins like Modula and Envira and weeping because they don’t even come close to the gorgeous layouts in Aeolidia (a Shopify design service) or Cargo (not WordPress compatible) or even SquareSpace, all the next best thing to the Instagram format.
Here’s what I mean:
I know what I want and I can lay it out in PhotoShop, but uploading a jpeg showing a gallery images is no way to build your SEO.
So, it’s back to the drawing board.
How do all of you feel about Instagram going away? Are you as bummed as I am?