When it first launched, Instagram was primarily a tool that made the pictures you share with your friends look pretty with the help of custom photo filters. Since then, it’s grown to one of the biggest online platforms available, with the average person spending 21 minutes per day browsing not only photos, but now videos as well as live-feed “Stories” that mimic Snapchat.
But now Instagram has announced that users will be able to see aggregated content that’s based on time-sensitive events that are in their area, like concerts or sporting events. This new video channel will live within Explore, and will be called Events.
This new channel will live in the Discover tab of the app where you can currently see curated images and videos that Instagram’s algorithm has selected for you based on photos you like or users you follow. It doesn’t matter if it’s an Adele concert or an NFL game, as long as the event is popular enough, it will become a detectable tile in the user’s Discovery tab as a channel.
Instagram’s existing algorithms will decide what type of user receives which event channels, but this technological advancement is another reminder that the future of live events will certainly incorporate the mobile experience. While Snapchat has been working towards aggregating event recaps, that work is still done manually by a team of curators. Instagram’s built in algorithm will know to show you an Event based on your network, streamlining the process.
This new development from Instagram is important to note exactly because of this algorithm. As much as performers gripe about attendees being glued to their phones during a concert, that same footage is going to eventually find its way into the hands of everyone who wasn’t at the event by way of this Instagram change. But knowing that a change is coming is one of the best ways to tackle an approaching challenge.
Some industry leaders have wondered if the best way to keep users off their phones during a performance is to introduce phone-approved portions of the show, typically before or after the production. Could the introduction of Instagram Events lead to an accelerated plan for some theaters to introduce these portions into their productions? Shows like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are sure to bubble into the Events channel, but organizers can keep the channel free of spoilers and distractions by introducing a red carpet, along with props that users can pose and post with. Instagram has kept quiet on how it plans to have organizers opt their performers out of Events to avoid spoilers, or if that functionality will be opt-in, or controlled by a third party.