The Changing Content of Instagram

I’m sure you all remember when you first created your own Instagram account – how the vast majority of the content were photos shared by your friends to express their interests and hobbies. Instagram a couple of years ago used as everyone’s personal online photo albums.

Over the years, especially since many businesses have created their own Instagram accounts, there is more and more marketing material on my feed. The marketing material ranges from businesses posting promotional pictures, to users who are paid by businesses to promote their products. In my opinion, this has made the feeling of Instagram become less genuine.

Businesses have been targeting Instagram users who appear to have an influence over others, and pay them in order to promote their products. Due to this, I’ve noticed that there is almost a desperation for users to have as many followers as possible and as many likes as possible, creating this fake feeling to Instagram.

For the possibility of being paid by a business to promote something for them, and also for their own narcissistic desires, many users desire to be “Instafamous”. In order to get there, users no longer post whatever they want,  but they post photos with the same colour schemes, styles, and some spend hours preparing everything within the photo for the perfect pic.  Even with Instagram, basic digital marketing principles apply and every “Instafamous” user seems to know it – including not posting so often that your posts appear as spam.

From a business’ perspective, utilising Instagram users who have a large following is very effective, not only because it exposes the product to a large number of potential consumers, the product is seen to be endorsed by the user themselves, and therefore influence the buying behaviour of consumers. This also decreases the perceived risk associated with purchasing new products as most of the time, the Instagram user reviews the product.

Have you ever been persuaded by something on Instagram to purchase something? Do you think Instagram’s content has changed for the better or for the worse?







6 thoughts on “The Changing Content of Instagram”

  1. I definitely agree with you on how Instagram’s content has changed and that it’s all about getting the “right” photo for your followers. It’s not about just capturing memories anymore, but about reaching a certain about of followers in order to receive free stuff from businesses. Instagram has also given users the option of “business”, which I think changes the whole dynamic of what Instagram is used for. It’s just a marketplace for products and services now. Have a read of my blog post about Instagram’s influence on consumers!


    1. I agree with how business profiles have changed the dynamic, and how Instagram has become pretty much an individuals own marketing space. I’ll definitely have a look at your blog 🙂


  2. I haven’t actually bought anything through instagram! I’m particularly hesitant as I’m worried the picture will look better than what it actually is! I’ve had this happen to me before when purchasing clothes online. I am however regularly tempted. Instagram is a great tool for marketers as it makes everything so visually appealing, and thus so tempting!


    1. Yes, definitely! I have personally fallen for the marketing on Instagram and purchased a couple of products from the linked websites. I think it’s good how you can see previous buyers reviews right on the picture of the product itself. It really aided my purchase decision.


  3. Interesting perspective on the landscape of insta. I like your point on the perceived fake/ artificial feeling of posts as a result of reaching for “instafame”. Do you think the chance to profit and make revenue from instagram posts is a separate issue entirely from the vanity aspect, or are they connected as your post seems to suggest?

    Would love to hear your thoughts on my upcoming post surrounding digital marketing gone wrong.

    Daniel Smorgon


    1. Thanks for your feedback! I wouldn’t really say that either is really an issue, the businesses providing instagram users with products to promote allows for users like myself to get insight into the product and the performance of the product itself. It definitely aids my purchase decision.
      The vanity and aspirations to be “instafamous” is pretty mcheap a new type of self expression. Although the tailored posts and very carefully thought out captions may seem a little fake, it does keep the feed on Instagram looking nice and continually updated. In my opinion, although they’re pretty much business posts, they still contribute to the overall content of Instagram.


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