Instagram Needs to Ditch the Shopping Feature…

Otherwise Tik Tok will unquestionably become the new mobile social networking king in 3 years.

Instagram implementing Reels is not enough to stop Tik Tok. For the past few months, I’ve been dabbling with Tik Tok in my spare time. I’ve been absolutely blown away by the platform. I posted one video to Tik Tok on my personal account (which had zero followers), and that one video ended up getting me 690 followers, 80k views, and 14.7k likes. That’s insane considering all I used to promote the video was 4 hashtags. The reach you can obtain on Tik Tok is substantially better than the reach you can obtain on Instagram. That’s an issue for Instagram.

However, Tik Tok isn’t for everybody. Tik Tok is very influencer-focused, and it’s not a great platform for brands or for people you know in real life (watching your friends create Tik Toks is cringy). Still, Tik Tok could change that.

Tik Tok’s For You Page is miles better than Instagram’s Explore Tab, and Tik Tok is much more likely to reward quality content opposed to Instagram. Despite Tik Tok recently announcing their plans to allow users to buy views with their in-app currency, Coins, Tik Tok is still significantly less pay-to-play than Instagram. There’s a lot of paid content on Instagram (because there’s a lot of money to be made on Instagram), but since there is significantly less paid content on Tik Tok, that makes the app much more addicting and attractive to users. People don’t want to see ads, and Tik Tok is creating a better user experience by highlighting their user-generated content instead of sponsored content.

Still, Instagram isn’t in any trouble at the current moment. Instagram occupies a different space than Tik Tok in a lot of ways. You’re more likely to socialize with friends on Instagram (Image Posts, Stories). You’re more likely to hold someone’s attention longer on Instagram (IGTV, Carousels), and you’re more likely to shop for something on Instagram (more brand friendly, Instagram Shops).

However, Instagram needs to ditch the shopping feature if they want to maintain some separation from Tik Tok. I know Instagrram makes a massive amount of money from their shopping feature, but I think it’s going to hurt them in the long run. When Instagram Shops was first released, Tik Tok wasn’t a threat, but that has changed now.

I think Tik Tok knows it needs to do a better job attracting brands and non-influencers (your friends) to create content on the platform. I think it’s reasonable to believe that Tik Tok will release some type of stories or image post feature in the next year in an effort to compete with Instagram. I think if Instagram keeps over-monetizing their platform, then we’ll see a bunch of users jump ship to Tik Tok.

However, if Tik Tok doesn’t add features that compete with Instagram, then I don’t think Instagram has any reason to be worried about Tik Tok. Like I said, they do operate in difference spaces at the moment.

Still, I’ve always hated Instagram Shops. The shopping feature on Instagram is atrocious. To this day, I don’t know any person who has made a positive comment about Instagram Shops. I don’t know a single person who has used Instagram shops. I’ve been a full-time Instagram marketer for years now, and I’ve never purchased anything on Instagram Shops. I don’t know why Instagram pushes it so heavily. If I’m going to buy something on Instagram, I’m going to go through the link in the bio like a normal person.

I think I made this post just to vent about Instagram Shops and talk about how much I like Tik Tok. Tik Tok is cool.

I like Instagram too, but I’m excited to see what Tik Tok is going to do in the next few years.

TL;DR – If Instagram continues to push advertised content, (and Tik Tok begins to add features that compete with Instagram) then Tik Tok will be bigger than Instagram in 3 years. Also, I hate Instagram Shops.

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