Monkey See, Monkey Buy

Elke Farnworth
July 10, 2020

If you've stayed up to date with my previous journals, you should be well advised that if you want to stay relevant, you must ride the wave, learn fast and never stop being innovative.

Even with all the craziness happening in the world, Instagram, the vehicle of trends has just dropped a new line of features that we advertisers and creators are hyped about.

Using Instagram is a lot like pressing our noses up against the window of our favourite store. Even though influencers seem to post the same shit, different day, these muses are pretty central to the platform and hold a lot of value. Instagram likes influencers, mainly because they drive more users over to IGTV, which, when brands and influencers align, possess the potential not only to amplify influence and engage targeted audiences, but also co-create cultural relevance for the brands they partner with.


Think about how easy it is to get epic pictures through filters on Instagram. Tiktok parallels this by enabling people to create and post engaging videos quickly. While most use Tiktok for its hilarious, #weirdAF videos, produced by 'twelvies', the platform holds much more potential, especially for business.

We all know this scene too well, where one minute you decide to check a notification on Instagram and in a blink of the eye, you've wasted your whole night scrolling aimlessly, seeing the same product promoted by being tucked into various different bikinis. Believe it or not, Tiktok is designed to be even more addictive than this. Due to this, Tiktok gets a lot of attention from its users. Unlike Instagram, Tiktok isn't about the aesthetics, it's about the hilarious, jaw-dropping, repeat watching entertainment. Even with little to no followers, you can go viral and mass-market to millions just by one 15 second video and choosing the right hashtags. This rapidly organic reach makes Tiktok very attractive for those who intend to reach the masses. Evidently showing great potential for marketers.

The bottom line, Tiktok, is not replacing any existing platform. It's a whole new can of worms, and currently, it's thriving off GenZ, which the creators of the app know they need to focus on for a purpose. This demographic dominate fast-paced trends in the world of social media. However, the same thing happened with Instagram, guess who was first on the scene of Instagram? It was the young ones and look who is now on the bandwagon…everyone including your grandparents. The same thing is going to happen to Tiktok. Sooner or later majority of Millennials and GenX will jump on the bandwagon even if they don't like to admit it right now and those brands who are building audiences right now are going to win.

Because of all this, Instagram is offering new ways for creators to make money on the platform, especially given the tough and uncertain economic times. The last thing they want is to have their entire audience (influencers and their audiences) to go tapping on Tiktok instead.

A new feature they're offering influencers is "badges", which users can purchase during a creator's IGTV live. These badges will appear next to the influencers name through the entire life which their followers can buy to unlock additional features to stand out in comments, being able to connect more and they even access a special heart. I know you're probably thinking Instagram Is really scraping the barrel here, but you'd be surprised how much people will back this new addition. It's another way for influencers to generate income from the content they're creating.

In stating this, in recent weeks our government has faced calls to ban the app over national security, spying and leaked user information. What a time to be alive!


Ads are coming to IGTV. Short videos will appear when users click to watch someone's IGTV videos from the video's preview in their Instagram feed. Influencers who are using IGTV and working to send traffic that way can directly benefit from this because when users click their IGTV video preview and see an ad, the influencers get a share in advertising revenue. Since IGTV ads are new, Instagram will be testing this experience throughout the rest of the year to master best practice.

As Instagram looks to emphasise e-commerce, it's testing a range of new, in-stream shopping tools, including shops and the expansion of shopping tags. Some Instagram profiles now can add product tags in their post captions, which, when tapped, take you through to a shoppable product page.


Last week I touched on the potency of staying relevant with your audience, and that's exactly what Instagram is doing. These past few months, Instagram's new features are knee-jerk reactions; they're adjusting quickly to the modern world that we're living in, offering unique features that will benefit brands, creators, and users as soon as possible. This suggests adaptability that will potentially benefit the platform and its users for years to come.