Photos on Instagram: Are they making a comeback?



Do you miss the days of beautifully curated Instagram feeds? Are you tired of endless scrolling through Reels on Instagram? Well, it looks like your prayers may have been answered, as Instagram appears to be bringing photos back into the limelight.


Read on to learn about the recent shift back to photos on Instagram, what this means for content creators and consumers, and how marketers and brands can optimize photo content to stay ahead of the game.


Instagram CEO admits he went too far


As the popularity of Reels has grown, many users have noticed a decrease in the number of photos on their feeds. In a now-expired Instagram Story, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri acknowledged this shift, admitting that Instagram was “overfocused on video in 2022” and “showed too many videos and not enough photos.”


Mosseri further explained that Instagram will now prioritize content based on the amount that a user engages with a content type. This means that users who engage more frequently with photo-based content will be shown more photos in their feeds. 


This shift towards photos is great news for brands and content creators who have been struggling to compete with the popularity of Reels.


What should your Instagram photo strategy look like?


If you’re looking to optimize your photo content in 2023 and onward, there are a few things you should keep in mind. 


1. Image carousels reign supreme


Carousels on Instagram are a great way to showcase multiple images or videos within one post, allowing you to tell a more complete story or share a variety of related content. 


Instagram’s algorithm rewards posts with high engagement and carousels can help increase engagement by encouraging users to swipe through multiple images or videos – hence, spending more time on your post.


2. Don’t ditch Reels entirely


Content creator and coach Jade Beason conducted an experiment where she posted only photos for ten days to test the performance and effectiveness of a photo-only strategy.


Beason found that while “photos received considerably more engagement” than Reels, the reach was much lower.


So, while photo content can encourage more engagement with your posts, Reels are still the best way to reach new audiences. 


>> READ: What happens when you ONLY post Instagram Reels?


According to Mosseri, Reels will still be an important part of Instagram and they will not be deprioritized in favour of photos and carousel posts. 


This means that content creators should continue to diversify their content across multiple formats, including Stories, Reels, and photos.


It’s a breath of fresh air to see a social media platform actually listen to its users for once and adjust accordingly. 


As much as we love creating Reels and seeing the great results that they provide, we’re excited to see photos making a comeback – not every social platform can be all video all the time!


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