Instagram’s revamp may be leaving artists behind
The Future. Instagram’s push to video is alienating the professional artists, photographers, and illustrators that made the platform a hit in its early days. That’s bad news for Insta, but maybe great news for an existing platform or new ambitious startup to become the go-to place for professional work that only exists as a still image… which somehow feels radical in 2022.
Video killed the still star
With the move to video, Insta’s algorithm is downvoting still images, leaving artists, illustrators, and painters without the engagement they used to command.
- According to NYT, painter and illustrator Maddy Mueller hasn’t been able to hack the algorithm with hashtags or posting at strategic times of day, so she’s had to start animating her work into videos to get more exposure.
- Another illustrator, Emmen Ahmed, has had to resort to making tutorial videos and other videos showing her artistic process to get eyes on her work again.
- After seeing their popularity drop, illustrator and picture-book publisher Mx. Lee was invited to earn money by posting to Reels… but the incentives weren’t worth it, with only a payout of $1,200 for 11 million views per month.
On the other side of the table, art director and agent Chad Beckerman said that it’s become more difficult to find talent on Instagram because it is now “congested with irrelevant posts, Reels and Stories.”
What’s an artist to do? Find another platform that works for them.
- Twitter has become a go-to place for artists, especially when it comes to NFTs.
- Professional-minded hubs like LinkedIn and Behance have attracted artists as well.
- And, of course, newer photo platforms like VSCO and Glass have started growing because of the artist exodus.
Despite the concerted effort to make short-form video a thing on Insta, it’s still struggling to keep up with TikTok… meaning Instagram might end up missing both trains. Whoops.