How Instagram Group DMs Have Created a Forum for Content Discussion and Curation
Since its inception, Instagram has evolved drastically over the years, from the basic photo-sharing platform with likes and comments and little else in terms of functionality to a sprawling online world of its own which provides interactivity with friends and strangers alike on every level. None of these changes has had a bigger effect on how content is distributed than groups, which have now become one of the first things that an avid Instagram user checks every time they enter the app. What began as simple multi-person chats that can view and react to content on the fly has now developed into something else entirely; a new medium giving people an outlet to remain connected with their scattered groups of friends in real life as well as those who share similar interests or maybe even those who you may have shared a memorable experience with.
Speaking from personal experience, an active Instagram group is truly something to cherish in the modern social media landscape. With the click of a button, content that is both quickly consumable and incredibly complex and layered can be displayed in front of the like-minded individuals of your choosing and instead of having to say your peace in a crowded comment section with hundreds of trolls and bots, you can get feedback, spark a debate or simply put a smile on the face of the people who actually mean something to you.
Interest-based groups take this to an even higher level, by acting as a forum for self-proclaimed avid experts to debate long into the night about sports, finance, politics or hobbies. Getting a like on a post or a story has become relatively insignificant when compared to having a witty remark in an intense group debate and receive a heart below it accompanied by the profile pictures of those whose opinion you trust.
Some brands have started to pick up on this phenomenon and have tweaked their content strategy accordingly, creating long-form carousels with in-depth analysis or informative text. Despite this possibly performing lower in the likes and comments categories, the positive sentiment towards this can be seen through “shares” and “saves” which signifies that knowledgeable users have found this content piece worth returning to later or worth sharing with their peers.
As Instagram continues to grow and affect how we communicate with our friends, we may soon see groups give way to another feature that followers consider most valuable. However, brands that continue to perceive things from the eyes of the user and not blindly abide by corporate guidelines will always remain ahead of the competition in terms of brand loyalty and affinity.