Make Instagram Instagram again

Make Instagram Instagram again

The use of social networks is declining slightly. Has the pandemic changed our use of social media?

Image source: Pexels 

Social media suffers from fatigue. During the pandemic, the usage went up significantly. Now, in the perceived “post-pandemic”, the social media focus has worn off a bit. However, not every player is on an equal footing. There are winners, losers and clear losers.


Let’s take a closer look and start with overarching usage trends.

Current data from the Trend Check trade provide information here:

-Social media usage is declining. The reach in the population decreases, albeit only slightly. The daily number of unique views has halved across all players. We simply look less closely at our apps. The constant look at Instagram, TikTok and Co. has lost its attractiveness and entertainment value, it wears out.

-We are also less likely to follow a manufacturer or retailer on social media. In the pandemic, especially in lockdowns, social media was the substitute shop window and a hygiene-compliant commerce channel. Here, too, a slight departure can now be seen. About half, including young users, think that social commerce is enough. Please no more.

-A post by the influencer Tati Bruening fits the mood. “Make Instagram Instagram Again” is her wish, her hope and her demand. She just wanted to see “sweet photos” of her friends. Kylie Jenner, celebrity member of the Kardashian clan and Instagram’s “most-followed woman,” shared the post and elevated it to meme status. Meta had to react.


This brings us to winners and losers. What does it show?

-The clear loser of the current development is Facebook. Network churn is significant. Usage fell from 60 percent of the population in 2021 to 47 percent in 2022. Things are slipping away. No wonder people get nervous and make incendiary speeches at Meta headquarters.

-A look at Instagram gives little hope. The network stagnated, the exit to a TikTok imitation led to a dead end. Not good news in the growth-focused digital business.

-And YouTube, the social media leader? YouTube has remained number 1, but is declining. Outdoor pools and vacations are just more attractive options.

-And who wins? Tiktok, of course. The reach in the population is increasing slightly, and TikTok still tempts users to access the app comparatively often. However: the rapid development journey of the “dynamite app” shows the first signs of braking. The addictive factor works, but less pervasively.

What does that mean now? The numbers give us the following messages:

-The dreams and investor expectations of the hockey stick and of exponential development processes are initially disappointed. It doesn’t always go up. Social media development is showing a dent. It remains to be seen whether the limits to growth are on the horizon. (However: In the gaming sector, on new platforms, serious alternatives of communication and interaction are emerging. New giants are coming!)

-The development of social media is not isolated in a techno-sphere, does not have a dominant and one-sided transforming effect on the rest of society. The development is more complex, reacts to changes in the environment, also in feedback loops. Pandemics and other human crisis have an effect.

-A wish for a perfect world is currently being articulated. The world is experienced as unsafe, difficult and threatening. The user asks himself: What were the times like when Instagram was still Instagram? (When was that again?) When “cute photos” of my friends, my cat, my dinner, etc. cheered the heart and lifted the spirit? When it wasn’t always about commerce and selling? I want that time back.

At least for now. As we eagerly await autumn and winter, the mood, demands and user behavior can turn around again. After all, the social media user is but a moody creature.

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