Facebook (FB) faced a year full of scandals in 2018 as well as a decline in users in the teen and millennial age group which has forced its leadership to focus on recreating its vision for social media network connections on Instagram.
This younger social network platform which was acquired by FB in 2012 is appealing to the coveted 12 to 34 year old age group which to them Instagram is hipper, and for FB it’s bringing in the money. But most of all it’s relatively still scandal-free.
So why are more people gravitating toward Instagram? For most, it provides a more simple social network platform of a single, cohesive stream of photos and videos. It’s not over-loaded with a lot of the share-everything trivia like Facebook has gotten to be nor advertising.
However, that may change, according to announcements that were made at FB’s F8 developer conference on April 30. And it looks like the company’s plans on Instagram’s transformation is picking up its speed. Since 2012, FB has added features like video, albums, tagging, private messaging and advertising. It’s even cloned from its competitor Snapchat the photo and video sharing feature.
At the F8 developers conference, Adam Mosseri, who is the head of Instagram said that it will add a new stories format, ‘create mode,’ which has been made just to add texts, polls, or quizzes and all other features that are not related to photos or videos. it’s duplicating FB’s color block feature which FB introduced in 2017, is what it is.
Another feature which will be added is the ‘Donation Stickers,’ allowing users to raise monies for their favorite charities through stories. Raising money for charities has been a popular feature on FB and according to FB data collected, users have raised over $300 million as of August 2018 just for birthday fundraisers.
Another feature that was added last month to Instagram: is ‘Shopping Tags.’ This allows users to shop directly on the app through shopping tags – similar to FB’s ‘Shop Now’ ad modules.
One popular FB feature – groups – hasn’t been activated on Instagram, but users have gone ahead and created their own ad hoc group-like pages and so it may not be long before this feature is added to Instagram as well.
Market research firm Edison Research’s survey data shows that FB’s US membership has declined by 15 million people over the last two years. Not only that those who are still members, the survey shows, spend about 10 percent less time in FB. Any growth in membership has been in Asia and Latin America but not in the US.
On the other hand, Instagram’s user base is exploding with 1 billion active users in March 2019 and it keeps outperforming FB and WhatsApp in growth. By 2020 it is expected to account for 70 percent of advertising revenue growth for FB, which has been estimated by KeyBanc Capital Markets.