Do Photos or Videos Perform Better on Instagram in 2022?
The world of social media is ever-changing, as any social media marketer worth their salt will know. It can sometimes be challenging to keep up with new trends, updates to algorithms, and the tidal wave of content you need to plan and create.
Recently, it has been said that the sun has set on the era of photo sharing on Instagram. Instead, marketers are looking to video content to promote their brands; but does one type of content really outperform the other?
This article dives into the Instagram algorithm to find out more.
Instagram Is “No Longer a Photo Sharing App”
In June 2021, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that his platform is “no longer a photo sharing app.” Instagram has evolved tremendously since its launch in 2010.
Initially, users shared quick snaps of things happening in their lives. Friends and family would like and comment. In more recent years, it became an exceptional branding tool. Companies share graphics and shots of their content, while influencers share personal branding shots. It transformed from pictures users took to pictures taken of them.
However, the age of sharing photos alone seems to be over. Instead, Instagram is now said to be prioritizing video content, such as IGTV, Reels, and ordinary in-feed Videos.
For some creators, the thought of switching to video content is daunting. Do you really have to give up photos?
As it turns out, the truth isn’t entirely black and white. Keep reading to learn which type of content is king on Instagram in 2022.
What Type of Videos Are Available on Instagram?
With its prioritization of video content on the app, Instagram has created multiple ways for people to share videos. There are lots of ways to post, so let’s check them out:
- Regular Videos: These videos appear in the feed like normal content. Users can upload pre-recorded videos from the camera roll or film directly in the app. It’s also possible to add videos to a carousel with other pictures or videos. These clips can run up to 60 seconds.
- Stories: Instagram stories are quick videos that last up to 15 seconds. They appear on a user’s profile for 24 hours before disappearing. Typically, they’re used for quick snippets of information.
- Instagram Live: Running up to an hour, live videos are exactly what they sound like. The user can stream live from their home or office, and people can tune in and leave comments. There are lots of ways to utilize lives to your business’ advantage.
- IGTV: Instagram Lives and other longer videos can be stored on IGTV. This standalone video section of the app is for portrait videos that last up to ten minutes for smaller accounts or up to an hour for verified users.
- Reels: These videos last up to one minute and appear in the main feed. They were designed to rival the addictive scrolling of TikTok, with trending audios, challenges, and in-app editing where users can add text, gifs, and more.
The best way to utilize Instagram to your advantage is to use a mixture of all this content. However, you may become more comfortable or learn how to brand your content best in one particular specialty.
Do Photos or Videos Perform Better in 2022?
In reality, there is no correct answer to this question. In most niches, a combination of photo and video content is going to get the best result.
Some accounts sometimes find that it takes a while for a particular type of content to take off. For example, your first few reels might not become viral sensations, especially if your account doesn’t already have a huge following.
Just a couple of years ago, photos got more engagement than videos. Now, it’s hard to tell if that still stands. It can vary for different accounts.
In general, it’s advised to perform some trial and error on your feed. Insights are a social media marketer’s best friend, so use them wisely! On each post, track the reach and engagement to see what your followers like best.
Even better, ask them! Instagram stories feature an excellent poll option that gives you a chance to get to know your audience. Tapping into the minds of your ideal client will help you produce content that gets better engagement, better future reach, and, in the end, business growth.
Beat the Instagram Algorithm
The sure-fire way to beat the algorithm is to post more than one type of content. The algorithm is always changing, and there is no telling what’s next for Instagram. No matter how many trend predictions you read, sometimes audiences behave differently than what’s forecasted.
To safeguard your business online, you should avoid being a one-trick pony. Try to vary your content as much as possible, with some pictures, some reels, frequent stories, and the occasional live.
That way, you can appeal to multiple facets of your audience and appeal to Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm through various channels.
Key Takeaway: Use Mixed Content for Best Results
At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all hack for cracking Instagram. Businesses can find success in all sorts of ways, and it may depend on your niche.
In general, video content is huge right now. It’s a wasted opportunity not to tap into the growth potential of reels, lives, and even IGTV. Plus, you can even repurpose some of your reels content to foster that sought-after TikTok growth. But none of this means you’re forced to ditch photos. The option to upload photos and carousels is still there for a reason; use it. Ultimately, Instagram creators that can use more than one format are likely to come out on top.