“Do y’all really want to hear me talk?” An influencer (blogger?) I follow on Instagram posed this question in her first Instagram Story last week, commenting how she had never used audio on Instagram before. She then wondered out loud if her followers would think her voice was “weird.” Another influencer asked, as if in the middle of an existential crisis, “but do people who follow me on Instagram want to see me without makeup? I’m not so sure…”
Such are the tough questions in the life of an influencer. I kid, kind of. But in all sincerity, it was fascinating to hear both of these women ask these questions, for three reasons:
1. They were questioning the purpose of Instagram with the release of Instagram Stories. Both of the influencers are very active on Snapchat, which means influencer #1’s audience on Snapchat has heard her talk, and influencer #2’s audience had seen her without makeup before. But by asking these questions, it clearly shows that they use Snapchat and Instagram differently. Not a huge revelation, obviously (see image above), but with the introduction of Instagram Stories, the clarity of purpose of each channel gets muddied. Will their Instagram audience, used to highly curated, “perfected” images tolerate the off-the-cuff, imperfect nature of Stories? Or is it asking too much for the channel’s audience to adapt to a new expectation?
2. They were suggesting they thought their audiences on Instagram and Snapchat were different. If their followers hadn’t heard their voice, or seen them without makeup, respectively, then they don’t follow them on Snapchat. Which means the influencers are creating content for two different audiences. Sure, there is probably overlap between the two channels, but as the influencers suggested, the different channels and types of content helped to grow their reach with new audiences, not provide different types of content for the same audience. Now that Instagram Stories is available, will they provide their Instagram audience with the same content as Snapchat, or will they need to create Snapchat-esque content more tailored to their Instagram audience?
3. Their comments made me feel like they were tired of producing so much content. These influencers were used to posting one type of content on Instagram, and one type of content on Snapchat. Not to mention on Facebook, Twitter, their blog, etc. Now, Instagram is asking them to create even more content– which may be as simple as posting the same Snapchat story on Instagram given the believed distinction of the two audiences, but still, another action to be taken to stay relevant. Have we reached peak content production volumes? How much is too much? How much does one influencer need to produce to stay relevant with their audiences?
*image via BuzzFeed.