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What the Instagram Leak Means For 2023

December 14, 2022

Instagram has finally admitted they’ve gone TOO FAR into video and because of that, they’ve fallen behind TikTok.

Here’s your latest Instagram News, including three leaked features that are coming to Instagram.

The Leaked Instagram Document

In September this year, a document titled, “Creators x Reels State of the Union 2022,” was leaked to the Wall Street Journal.

This was a document created and published by Meta themselves in August with intentions to only share internally with their team. Inside this document, there were reports of research their team had done examining the current state of Reels and how it stands next to their main competitor, TikTok.

While we don’t have access to the actual document, the Wall Street Journal has shared some of the statements mentioned in the document:

  • Reels have less than one-tenth of the engagement of TikTok videos.
  • Reels engagement had fallen by 13.6% over the four weeks prior to the study.
  • 20.7% of the 11 million US Instagram creators were posting using the Reels format. Meaning the remaining 79.3% of users don’t post.
  • Nearly a third of the Reels videos that are posted were created on another platform, complete with a branded watermark.

When asked about this document and some of the leaks, Meta’s spokeswoman, Devi Narasimhan, said that the data was outdated and not global in scope.

I personally find that statement interesting because if it was outdated data, then why share the doc with your team in the first place? Unless you meant it was only 1 month outdated because the doc was created in August and then later leaked in September?

Instagram Battles Negative Perception

On top of those numbers, Meta has continued to fight against negative perceptions among its users.

As they frequently survey their users on how they’re perceived, they found that more recently:

“The portion of Instagram users who think the company ‘cares about’ them fell from nearly 70% in 2019 to roughly 20% earlier this summer.”

That’s basically a 50% drop since the release of Reels!

However, I will say that Narasimhan claims that data does not accurately reflect the company’s internal data, but declined to elaborate any further.

So, maybe those numbers aren’t 100% accurate… but I don’t know, it doesn’t seem that unrealistic to me when you just look at the Instagram platform and what current users have to say.

Instagram Acknowledges Their Issues

Enough with all this bad news, let’s start getting into some better news! Instagram has acknowledged that there is work to be done.

Chief Operating Officer (COO), Justin Osofksy, said, “We’re seeing good promise in the rollout of Reels, good adoption. But with that said, we know we also have work to do.”

Along with that, Meta’s spokeswoman, Devi Narasimhan, made a statement in a similar tone:

“We still have work to do… but creators and businesses are seeing promising results, and our monetization growth is faster than we expected as more people are watching, creating and connecting through Reels than ever before.”

And of course, the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said, “We’ve gone too far into video” when asked about how photographers can continue to stay relevant on Instagram.

Instagram Moving Forward

So moving forward, what’s the plan? Will anything change? Where’s the silver lining?

Notice how Narasimhan said in her statement that “creators and businesses are seeing promising results” on their platform. Even when you look at Instagram’s Blog, their articles heavily focus on helping creators and businesses succeed on their platform.

So the good news is if you’re a Content Creator, business, aspiring creator or entrepreneur of any shape or form, Instagram is still a great platform for you to be on and make money on.

If you’re an everyday user who doesn’t want to post and you want a place to catch up with family and friends, Instagram might not be that place anymore.

The focus of the platform is moving to ambitious content creators. That means there’s a shift that’s about to happen.

Well…it’s actually been happening slowly over the past few years. Some of us haven’t noticed it, refused to notice it, or haven’t thought it would affect us so much.

Instagram is pivoting away from an “Everyone Plays” app to an “Everyone Creates” app, where if you’re not creating, you might fade out.

So basically… someone needs to make a new “Connect With Friends and Family” app 👀

Three Leaked Instagram Features

Now for some more good news, here are three features that will be coming to Instagram soon!

I get all my leaked information from the Twitter account, Alessandro Paluzzi. He accurately predicts features on all sorts of platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc., so full credit to Alex and go give him a follow on Twitter.

Leak #1: Ability to Create a Channel

Discussion channels were previously called “Public Groups”, where you can create a discussion channel for other people to discover.

You can either create a public discussion or create one solely for your Instagram subscribers.

With this feature, I will be able to start a conversation with a question like, “What are some Instagram features you wish existed?” 

And anybody on Instagram can take part in the discussion and give their ideas.

Or I can post a question for my subscribers only and ask them questions like, “What sort of videos do you want to see on my Instagram?” or “What sort of Instagram Lives do you want me to do this month?”

Then my subscribers and I can continue that discussion there, all within the app.

These discussions can also be linked to your profile, so you can leave it at the top of your profile for anybody to see and visit.

Leak #2: Add a Song to Your Profile

Umm… MySpace anyone? I’m really getting MySpace vibes from this one.

Here’s my prediction for this one. I feel like Instagram is creating this feature specifically for artists and musicians as an additional platform to really show their talents, songs, demos, etc.

Using Meghan Trainor’s TikTok as an example, you’re currently able to see her original music and her original sounds on her account. (See screenshot as a reference.)

My guess is Instagram’s ability to add a song to your profile will be very similar to this.

Leak #3: Search for Popular Reels

I think this is going to be great for two different purposes.

Firstly, you’ll be able to find potentially trending audios, topics and Reels so you can hop on the trends.

Second, it will feature Content Creators with the purpose of highlighting smaller Creators.

If done right, this one can be really cool and a great addition. We’ll just have to see how Instagram’s algorithm integrates the feature once it rolls out.

The same goes for all these new features. It’s all speculation and educated guesses at the moment. We will just have to wait and see how this affects the platform and its users moving forward.

Follow your joy!


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