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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Clark


In recent years, social media platforms have been overtaken by short videos that tend to perform extremely well among consumers. On TikTok, short videos are the primary format of content posted by creators, and these videos range anywhere from 15 seconds to 3 minutes.

After TikTok gained immense popularity among social media users, Instagram adapted this short-form video format in their own way by creating reels. Reels have quickly become an extremely productive form of social media content for brands and influencers to use in order to increase engagement with their customers and followers. When created using popular audio, relevant hashtags, and appealing visuals, an Instagram account has the potential to go viral off of a single post. However, in recent weeks, the ever-changing world of social media has seen a decline in the popularity of these short-form videos and a return of engagement with photographic content on TikTok and Instagram.

TikTok has released a new feature called “photo mode,” which allows creators to post a slideshow of pictures set to an audio track. Users have utilized this tool to create content that feels much more unfiltered and natural in the eyes of the viewer than the typical highly-curated vlog or video. Creators are now able to provide viewers with content captured throughout different parts of the day, as it is easier for creators to snap a quick picture of a moment than to stage the perfect clip for a TikTok video.

Through TikTok’s newfound emphasis on photo content, users are reminded of the type of content they have been familiar with for so long on Instagram. When reels were introduced to the platform in 2020, they gained immediate popularity with users. Much to the dismay of traditional photographers and those who had enjoyed the way the platform had been operating for so long, Instagram no longer acted as a photo-sharing app. Traditional posts saw a decrease in engagement of about 44% across the board. If a brand or influencer was not filming and producing reels, they had almost no shot to gain engagement from consumers or go viral on the platform. However, in 2022, Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, explained that the platform had pushed its video content too strongly onto creators, and Instagram is dedicated to reinstituting a balance between photos and videos on the app in order to give all creators a fair shot to maintain relevance on Instagram.

Photo carousels are now re-gaining popularity on Instagram, as they are able to accomplish some of the same objectives as reels while providing other advantages for creators. For example, reels take additional time and effort for creators to capture and produce. Capturing photos for a carousel saves time and is much more efficient, but it still allows creators to display content from multiple moments and tie them into the same post. Another advantage to utilizing a photo carousel is that it presents the consumer with a much more relatable and natural form of content, rather than the typical overly curated video that may feel out of touch for consumers and viewers. Anyone can snap a photo and showing consumers that brands are not above this content format shows relatability. Finally, as Instagram is purposefully aiming to balance out the promotion of reels and photos in its algorithm, brands are no longer at a disadvantage by not posting reels consistently.

At Ezer, we use an integrated approach that allows your brand the creative liberty to use all kinds of content. Contact us today for a free social media audit and take the first step towards increasing your brand’s social media presence.

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