27th March 2018

Is Instagram the future of publishing?

We all know that the face of publishing is changing. Circulation figures for the last decade have shown the demise of hardcopy papers and magazines, and it seems almost every month sees the closure of another magazine (so long to the NME, mainstay of my youth).

Online journalism was heralded as the future of publishing, yet publishers are still facing issues over how to monetise online content. Paywall? No paywall? Native advertising? Paid for sections?

One place where my media consumption has grown enormously is Instagram, and it seems I’m not alone. 95 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every single day, and the site has 800 million active monthly users.

I was really excited to see the launch of Selfish Mother’s Instazine a couple of weeks ago. This new approach to publishing takes the nine top squares of the Instagram feed each week to create and publish magazine content on the gram. With magazine readership going down, and Instagram usage going up, this seems to be an excellent way to reach and talk to readers where they are. As a big Selfish Mother fan I am excited to see where this project goes.

We’ve been seeing brands responding to the rise of Instagram for some time. Utilising influencers is nothing new, but I was interested to read that Jack Wills are actively turning to influencer-generated content rather than photo shoots. I also love the recent video UniLad Adventures has created for Love Great Britain showing the most Instagramable spots in London. This paid for content, created by the publisher in order to help Love Great Britain promote tourism in the UK, hooks into the desire people have to Instagram and share their destinations.

Is Instagram the future of publishing? I don’t think so entirely, but the way that innovative publishers and brands are responding to it, makes it a great destination for content consumption.