Instagram users and advertisers will ‘embrace’ timeline changes, says Facebook’s UK chief
Facebook’s UK chief Steve Hatch insists that changes to the order of user’s Instagram timelines has full support from both advertisers and users.
The upcoming changes will mean Instagram timelines will no longer feature the most recent posts first but the most relevant instead. It was based on insight from Instagram that found the average user misses 70% of their feed as “there’s simply too much content”.
The changes have been accused of disrupting linear storytelling by ad agencies, while the hashtag #RIPInstagram quickly trended after the initial announcement.
READ MORE: Is Instagram risking brand damage with its new feed changes?
However, Hatch, speaking to Marketing Week during Advertising Week Europe, believes the changes will quickly be accepted.
He said: “Many people were missing a lot of content so what this is doing is creating an even better experience for Instagram users.
“[So far] the feedback from the community is positive as they understand that relevancy and creativity will improve if you show something tailored to a particular user. There is nothing to indicate that a greater focus on personalisation will be anything other than positive for the community and marketers as well, or that the new timeline won’t be embraced. I don’t see advertising and the community at odds – they are complimentary.”
Above the line focus
Last year, Facebook launched its first UK TV advertising campaign, with three ads depicting key aspects of the service, including the act of meeting someone for the first time.
And Hatch hinted that Facebook could invest in above the line advertising once more.
“The campaign served as an opportunity to remind the public of what we’re here to do. It had a lovely response within the company and outside of it too. It was very useful and we learnt a lot of lessons that we can apply in the future.”
Facebook’s role as a hardware creator
At Facebook’s recent F8 developer conference, it announced a 360 virtual reality camera for brands. According to Hatch, the camera represents a compelling insight into the social media giant’s future direction.
He added: “It was one of the least reported things of the event but it shows the catalytic impact we’re looking to have on the market. Two years ago we’d talk about how 360-degree media is a technical challenge, so we went out and solved it and have given it to the marketing community.
“It says a lot about some of the opportunities we’re looking to capitalise on and our future role as a hardware creator.”