5 Social Media Influencers Share their Thoughts on the Future of Instagram

With a new year, comes many changes on all of the social platforms. We spoke to 5 social media influencers about what they love about Instagram – the sixth most-used social media platform in the world, with over 1 billion active users- and their predictions on the future of Instagram.

Instagram launched in October 2010 and it looks vastly different today than it did then. Back then, it was solely a photo-sharing app and didn’t have all of the fun stuff that it has today, including IGTV Video, Stories and Direct Messages. Features such as business accounts, direct shopping and advertisements all came much later too.  

The rapid growth in users of the app led to the rise of influencers. Influencer marketing wasn’t a new concept – brands were paying celebrities for endorsement deals long before social media came along. 

However, modern influencer marketing as we know it today involves the use of bloggers – who generally have an engaged following in their chosen niche – to promote and endorse products from brands. These brands see the value of getting their items in front of receptive audiences in a way that is more seamless and integrated than traditional advertising.

We’ve talked to 5 Instagram Influencers about how they got their start in the social space and where they think the future of Instagram is headed.

KIRSTY ELIZABETH

My name is Kirsty, I’m 27 and live just outside of London. In terms of work, I split my time between my Digital Marketing company and Instagram/Youtube.

How did you start blogging?

I studied Marketing and Management of Fashion at university and a lot of my lecturers advised us to have our own blogs to help us get jobs when we graduated. I was always very much into fashion and beauty anyway so it seemed easy enough to share my outfits. I really enjoyed it, so I did it on and off as my coursework and exams plus my first job took the majority of my time.

What was Instagram like when you first started blogging?

When I started it was the beginning of “Influencers”. It was a new thing that not everyone understood and most people just used Instagram to share their holiday photos and brunch! There were only a few really big Influencers (at the time having 100,000 or more followers was huge) and they seemed almost celebrity like. It’s funny now as I know plenty of instagrammers with 100,000 followers or more and they are completely normal, down-to-earth and lovely people.

What are your thoughts on the future of Instagram?

This is something I often debate with people as I’m unsure of the answer! It can’t last forever – every social media platform so far has reached its peak and diminished slightly, if not completely. It’s becoming more common for users to have hundreds of thousands of followers and the removal of likes means that the numbers will start to mean less. I also think a lot of people are switching on to the fact that social media can be extremely detrimental to mental health and so are making an effort to use it less. But without sounding like an advert, the future is digital and we as consumers absolutely love new content so I think perhaps it still has a fair bit of time left in it yet.

Amy Lee

Hello! My name is Amy, and I’m the girl behind the health blog, AMY LEE ACTIVE, and I also run a Digital Marketing business. I love healthifying my favourite foods, photography, strength training (no to cardio, sorry not sorry), eating Protein Peanut Butter Cups post-workout, and feeding my friends and family.Hello! My name is Amy, and I’m the girl behind the health blog, AMY LEE ACTIVE, and I also run a Digital Marketing business. I love healthifying my favourite foods, photography, strength training (no to cardio, sorry not sorry), eating Protein Peanut Butter Cups post-workout, and feeding my friends and family.

How did you start blogging?

I used to HATE exercise and eating healthy, but when I hit my 20s I noticed my metabolism wasn’t as fast, and my energy levels were low – I did heaps of research on balanced, healthy eating and training and fell in love with the endorphin rush so I wanted to share it with others as much as possible. This is how my blog, Amy Lee Active was born!

What was Instagram like when you first started blogging?

It was chronological; everything was seen; growth was super quick (20k in less than a year). If only I wasn’t so self-conscious about what other people thought, I would’ve started sooner! Whatever you’re thinking of doing, just start – that’s the hardest hurdle done.

What are your thoughts on the future of Instagram?

A greater need for authenticity and (thankfully) a growing awareness of fake followers and engagement by both brands and their audience. A growing emphasis on video and IGTV, to compete better against its biggest competitor, YouTube. I’d love to see a monetization program for IGTV, one of the biggest setbacks in its competition with YT. And Instagram Reels, to compete with TikTok – a video-music remix feature for users to make short video clips (just like TikTok), which can be shared on Stories. The music for these videos, remixes, or memes can be added from a huge available catalog.

ALEX SERRUYS

My name is Alex, also known as @alexincolour, mainly for my love of colour in fashion and styling across social media.

How did you start blogging?

I started blogging a few years ago when I was working as a Personal Assistant for the MD of a social media company, it was there I realised I could do this too. I am extremely open-minded, I speak my mind and talk about topics that not everyone feels comfortable talking about, from periods to sex toys. I like to think of my platform as a safe haven for no judgement, just pure honesty and colourful fun!

What was Instagram like when you first started blogging?

When I started, it was easier to grow Instagram and be noticed. I think it’s key to have a USP, mine being colour – you need to stand out among the masses and have something different about your feed to be noticed. I think Instagram has changed majorly for creators. Instagram didn’t know they’d be a platform supporting millions of influencers fund their lifestyles, did they?!

What are your thoughts on the future of Instagram?

I think Instagram will migrate into a creator level platform where brands and creators can connect, not an idea I like the sound of – but hey, as I always say never put your eggs in one basket 😉

Nicole Li

My name’s Nicole (or Niki) and my insta handle is centred around lifestyle content, focused on fashion, fitness, travel and food (it’s hard not to when you live in Melbourne!) 

How did you start blogging?

Honestly, I made my Instagram all the way back in high school because I was curious to check out what it was! I randomly typed in a username (which I still have to this day) and started posting pretty much anything that came in my line of vision (ok, not quite). Fashion & fitness have always been a big part of my life so it made sense to start creating more content in both areas. But I only started taking Instagram “seriously” about 2-3 years later.

What was Instagram like when you first started blogging?

Let’s just say it was less of a numbers game and content was more free-flow, flexible, spontaneous and chill! Now, stats seem to be everything and it’s also just as easy for people to fake “vanity metrics”. Every second girl out there is an “influencer or blogger”, or is working towards becoming one! It’s competitive for sure but the challenge is a fun journey and learning experience. That’s because there’s so many opportunities on this platform now compared to many years ago!

What are your thoughts on the future of Instagram?

I see even more growth in Instagram being such an effective social media marketing platform. It’s already changed the whole marketing industry for businesses – big and small! Though I do feel like there’s still many businesses across many industries that still haven’t taken the chance to explore it. (Of course, I’m not saying social media is suitable for every type of business.)For bloggers, realistically I think it’ll become even more challenging to stand out. This can be good and bad – depending on how we want to go about it!

SHANIA KUFNER

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Neutrals 🕊

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I’m Shania, I’m a full-time flight attendant and a part-time Instagrammer. My style is casual and feminine with a touch of grunge.

How did you start blogging?

I started blogging when I went on a trip to London and was inspired by the fashion and locations while I was there, so I started taking photos of my outfits and it all just started going upwards from there. At the start I only shot one outfit a week and uploaded every second day, now I shoot once a week and will do about 4 or 5 outfits and upload much more regularly.

What was Instagram like when you first started blogging?

Instagram was more casual and unplanned feeds, and I think we have now returned to that trend of more organic, natural-looking content mixed with day-to-day type shots. Nowadays, it seems more important to create a visual mood as a whole feed rather than just posting perfectly posed shots and nothing else.

What was Instagram like when you first started blogging?

I think engagement for Instagram is dropping – especially with the removal of likes, but I think that the audience is still interested in what they are seeing even if they don’t always press the ‘like’ button. I think Instagram is and will continue to be a platform that inspires people in many different ways. 

Rubi Rasheed

All of the influencers we interviewed agree that Instagram was a very different platform from when they began their blogging journeys as to what it is today. 

Over the last 10 years, the platform has continuously evolved and added new features that are specifically useful for influencers and those who have monetised their pages. The introduction of ‘Brand Paid Partnerships’ and ‘Swipe Up’ to shop are examples of this. Some changes, such as the removal of likes definitely threw a spanner in the works for most people, especially influencers, who have to provide their stats and insights to brands in order receive brand partnerships.

Influencer marketing isn’t set to slow down anytime soon, in fact it is en route to become a $8 billion dollar industry in 2020. We at Marylebone Marketing, are excited and intrigued to see what the future will hold!

Influencer marketing isn’t set to slow down anytime soon, in fact it is en route to become a $8 billion dollar industry in 2020. We at Marylebone Marketing, are excited and intrigued to see what the future will hold!

Rubi Rasheed

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the daily commute @revolve #revolveme

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The Writer

Rubi Rasheed

Rubi Rasheed is a Social Media and Content Executive at Marylebone Marketing. 

She is a fashion influencer with 3 years’ experience in creating content for campaigns and promoting brands on social media. 

Rubi has created a successful fashion blog called Pose & Repeat which has a large following on both Instagram and YouTube.

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