How Instagram’s Changes Impact Businesses Operating on the Platform

Instagram has a platform has most definitely had a pretty major impact on the kinds of businesses people can establish because of the fact that this is the sort of network that could potentially end up facilitating people getting in touch with customers in a relatively easy manner without having to spend enormous amounts of money on things like advertising. This platform enables people to obtain a pretty significant organic reach, and this has resulted in a wide range of businesses popping up which are often owned and operated by a single individual.

However, it is important to note that in order to make it so that your business can end up surviving for the longest possible period of time on Instagram, you would most definitely need to keep posting on a more or less regular basis. Instagram’s algorithm is both mysterious and mercurial, and small business owners often need to work really hard to ensure that they post often enough that their reach extends out to enough people that would be willing to purchase items from them and give them a reliable stream of revenue.

A lot of small business owners try to make it easier for customers to make their way to the independent websites that have been established to sell products, but it seems that Instagram is looking to integrate virtually every aspect of the customer journey into its own platform. Everything from an on platform checkout section to a collaborative feature that facilitates artists working with influencers to promote their work and negotiate a fee, it’s pretty clear that Instagram as well as Facebook won’t be satisfied until businesses on their platforms are doing the entirety of their transactions on the platform itself.

A number of the features that Instagram is incorporating will actually do a fair bit of good for the businesses that are earning money on the platform, at least from a surface level point of view. However, it is also going to lead to something rather sinister, which is a dependence on the platform. Instagram has a very narrow view of a what a creator can and should be, and this lack of diversity can restrict certain parties from expressing themselves fully and maintaining as much control over their businesses as they need to.

Anyone that is part of the online economy would know that dependence on a single app or platform is going to be dangerous for them. It gives the platform in question far too much control over their enterprises, and this is turning into somewhat of a cause for concern for a lot of people that are running businesses on Instagram.

The algorithm is clearly being modified in such a way that it will reward people who spend more time on the platform and do as much of their operational tasks on the platform. This will disadvantage business owners that want to branch out to a certain extent and diversify their revenue streams, and this could contribute towards making the online economy a far less democratic and accessible place than it is right now which would negatively impact the future of this entire industry.

Photo: Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

H/T: Vox.

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