Do you remember when Instagram was just a platform to post photos?
In 2017, they introduced Stories – the goal was to attract Snapchat users to their Platform.
In 2019, they introduced Reels – the goal was to avoid users their users to TikTok.
Now, both Stories and Reels have become a big part of the platform, while photos are almost an afterthought. The algorithm loves Reels and as soon as you watch one, you won’t see another photo.
With Reels becoming unavoidable, this means more work for small businesses. They need to record their work in process. They need to keep track of trends. They need to know which sounds will help boost their post. They might even need to show their face or talk to the camera.
Many have been asking for photos to make a comeback. Unfortunately, Instagram hasn’t listened – but TikTok has!
Introducing TikTok’s Photo Mode
You can now share a carousel of photos with TikTok’s Photo Mode. These still images will display one after the other to the soundtrack of your choosing – or people can swipe through them at their own pace.
The algorithm won’t punish you for using the new feature and your posts will be displayed on the FYP. This means that without having any followers, your post has the potential to reach thousands.
How to use it
Using Photo Mode is really easy and straightforward.
♦ Tap the + like you would to upload a video
♦ Go to “upload” to the right of the red record button
♦ Choose two or more photos from your phone
♦ Tap “Next”
♦ Make sure to tap “switch to photo mode”
♦ Add stickers, filters and a soundtrack of your choosing
♦ Tap “Next”
♦ Write a caption and add your hashtags
Photo Mode is only available through the mobile app. If you already have the app on your phone, you might need to update it.
Instagram vs TikTok
Back in March, TikTok introduced Stories. They have also been rolling out longer captions – now matching Instagram’s 2200-character limit. With this new feature bridging the gap, the two platforms are now almost identical!
So how can you choose which one will be a better fit for your small business? It really depends on who your ideal client is and where they are.
♦ Most Instagram users are aged 18 to 34.
♦ 51% of Instagram users are male, and 49% are female.
♦ Most TikTok users are aged 10 to 49.
♦ 61% of TikTok users are female.
Of course, it might be that neither Instagram nor TikTok is best suited for your business – Ace of Media, for example, isn’t on either.
What do you think?
At a time when many are irritated with the constant flow of changes on Instagram, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Will small businesses move to TikTok? Will this feature kill Instagram? Or is the beginning of TikTok forgetting what makes them special?