Sahail Ashraf posted on 20 February 2023
Instagram has started to display prompts so that users can go back to Memories.
Instagram really wants users to use the Memory feature.
A new ‘Memory Story’ prompt appears in some feeds now to encourage users to share old posts. After clicking on the Memory story, previous stories you shared around this date will appear.
Throughout Instagram’s history, this feature has appeared in various guises. In contrast, now the app actively promotes re-sharing of past stories, similar to Facebook’s ‘On this day’ prompts, potentially encouraging more engagement.
However, this could be a sign that things are not going too well at the company.
Facebook (sorry, Meta) owns Instagram, and this means that, every now and then, some ghosts from the past will resurface.
On Facebook in 2015, content sharing was down 12%, and people’s personal posts – like thoughts and photos – were down 21%. This was addressed by Facebook by adding more ‘On this day’ reminders and prompts to user feeds, to encourage nostalgic engagement.
Facebook created something special with On This Day. On This Day is perfect if you enjoy saving and revisiting memories. It lets you see what you posted years ago, allowing you to relive your past highs and lows. Posts, statuses, and media you upload are all included.
Over 60 million Facebook users visited their “On This Day” pages every day in 2017, and 155 million received notifications about the feature. In addition to boosting engagement, the additional pushes also, arguably, shifted Facebook’s focus toward more family-oriented content more aligned with friends’ interests and interests.
So a change happened there. Maybe this is the kind of push that Memories are meant to create.
Video viewing has gone up across the products that Meta holds. But many experts feel that Instagram is running out of steam. This may not be completely true.
Meta recently reported that its AI content recommendations are helping to drive more engagement, and Reels is enjoying a boost, so Instagram is not losing out overall. However, even as users consume more video on the company’s apps, they are not posting as many personal updates to Facebook and Instagram, and consumption of Instagram Stories is down 10% from last year.
In fact, Reels is a success story at the end of the day. Videos on Reels can be up to 60 seconds long. With this format, creators can explore new creative possibilities and interact with their audiences in new ways.
With Reels, brands can reach a wider audience and potentially go viral by incorporating video content into their Instagram feed. The reason behind this is that not only do Reels show up on users’ individual feeds, but they are also boosted by the Instagram algorithm and pushed to show up on both discovery and reels pages.
But that personal video uploading thing isn’t growing as much as Instagram might like. Reels, for example, is more of a recommendation engine at the moment.
Possibly therefore, this new direction is part of a new push to encourage users to post their own videos, rather than just watch recommended videos. The tactic seemed to work at Facebook with On This Day, boosting engagement through deeper connections with the audience.
The prompt may make user’s head to a Memory more than they are at the moment.
The prompt is equally as important for brands. Brands that have a connection with their audiences and a human feel to their content will benefit the most from using Memories. If the new prompt works, it should encourage brands to wake up and focus on bringing back their best content and also content that shows that human face.
In other words, this is an important signal for brands. As we all know, engagement rests upon understanding and relating to your audience. This Memory aspect is well worth re-approaching.
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