- Instagram’s preference for video and Reels has hurt many travel influencers who have studied photography.
- Five creators say their engagement and reach has declined in recent months.
- Some are scrambling to learn video skills, while others are refocusing on their old-school blogs.
Some of the leading travel influencers, who helped shape Instagram’s culture in its early days, say they are offended by the priority now given by the platform to short-form Reels and video in general. -an.
The five influencers told the Insider they saw a general decrease in reach and participation in the attractive, high-quality holiday photos that first made them famous. While some are trying to acquire video production skills, others say they have completely re-evaluated their investment in Instagram.
“I would say that everything I know personally in this space is at a stage in,‘ I have to learn to video or I’m no longer fit, ’” said Chris Hau, a Canadian travel photographer and videographer who has over half a million followers. on Instagram. “Anyone who is an exceptional photographer should be able to learn video now. They’re definitely feeling the pressure. Potentially 30% of their opportunities and livelihoods are taken away.”
Hau and four other independent travel operators report a 30% to 50% reduction in reach and participation in 2022 to date. The logger verifies the creators ’downtime using their internal analytics. Some say they pivoted the video and saw their reach and engagement start to heal.
These changes seem to be in line with an announcement made by Instagram lead Adam Mosseri at the end of 2021, in which he said the company plans to “double” the focus of its video.
“We have to rethink what Instagram is,” Mosseri said at the time.
Instagram did not respond to a request for comment for this story.
Some say these changes are eliminating the bread and butter of Instagram, and others are urging acceptance of the change.
Kirsten Alana, 41, has been on Instagram for fourteen years. She created her account @kirstenalana in early 2010 when the platform was first introduced. Like many other travel influencers, she already travels extensively for work as a professional photographer, and posting her polished photos on Instagram opens new doors for her.
Photos like hers also helped shape Instagram’s iconic culture and aesthetic in the company’s early stages.
“I started sharing photos of my coffee and breakfast on my travels … geo-tagging their locations and using it as a marketing tool,” he says. “None of the algorithm issues existed before. They were just photos and people loved them.”
Nowadays, he says he feels old, and believes his core audience doesn’t want to see Reels or video from him.
“The algorithm now penalizes older accounts [aren’t using] Reels … I’m really in the middle of checking everything out and what direction I want to go, ”Alana said.“ Instagram thought we wanted to see Reels, but I checked my audience, and most of them do not. . ”
“The fellowship fell for me personally,” he added. “Likes and comments fell across the board by at least a third.”
A study done by social-media management company Hootsuite last year found that engagement and reach increased as the accounts it tested posted more videos and Reels.
Alana said she doesn’t want to transfer her content to video and Reels because she’s a photographer and she wants to maintain her authenticity. And while he wasn’t sure of his next step, other influencers told the Insider they were trying to be quick to accept the changes in order to move forward.
Elman Beganovich has 711,000 Instagram followers on his personal account, and has started consulting for other travel influencers. He encourages his own clients, and the community at large, to learn shooting and video editing skills. In fact, he thinks it will further enhance the look of the travel interior.
“With the travel industry it lends itself beautifully to the content of the video,” Beganovich said. “There are amazing things you can do with video that you can’t do with an image. It’s not that hard to make videos. When we started, I had to learn Photoshop, Lightroom … As a influencer is your inner king. It’s basically an influencer’s job to be creative and learn new tools. “
Some influencers are refocusing their attention back on their old-school blogs.
Asdghik Melkonian, 36, calls himself a “digital nomad” and full-time traveler. He has had his account @thejetsetterdiary for seven years, where he has amassed 104,000 followers. But these days he’s considering pouring his resources into his travel blog, his first online imprint.
For Melkonian, he sometimes sees a 60% reduction in engagement and reach from his static posts.
“I’m honestly looking to diversify my income on my blog,” he said. “Instead of relying too much on Instagram, I focus on my blog and do SEO work to increase revenue stream.”