Adapting to the Instagram generation

Brands are looking to the future and re-inventing themselves for the modern customer. The challenge is to produce an offer that stands the test of time.

Forget flatlays of weekend brunches and picture perfect holiday snaps, reading books is the best new way to spend time on Instagram. That’s right, The New York Public Library is offering followers a break from the scroll, with the chance to flick through the pages of a book instead.

The project, created in collaboration with Mother New York, involves converting literary classics into interactive Instagram stories, giving people access to the novels for free. Nearly 40,000 people read through to the end of the first insta novel in the initial days after its launch.

The gamified approach to literature by no means offers a seamless reading experience, but the digital bookshelf provides a whole new way of consuming books. And with Instagram encouraging users to produce more long form content since the launch of IGTV, it’s interesting to see a brand embracing this shift.

This novel new approach to literary access is perhaps unsurprising — they’re called ‘Instagram Stories’ after all — and Instagram has already made a mark on the publishing industry via the ‘bookstagramming’ phenomenon.
Bookstagramming, for those not in the know, combines literary reviews and insta-perfect shots of the books in question. It has become a marketing force in itself and turned physical books into shareable accessories. So, with books being chosen for their aesthetically pleasing facades, designers are making covers more colourful, bolder and cleaner to stand out on a feed.

Yes, Instagram is changing the way we design the world. Taking photos of daily moments has become entrenched in modern culture and brands are responding in kind, with Dormify curating dorm room decor designed to stand out on social media, installation sensation The Colour Factory turning artwork into a photo-ready backdrop and eateries like Project 281 being designed with Instagram in mind.

But according to Havas, 60 per cent of the content created by the world’s leading 1500 brands is ‘just clutter’ and has little impact on customers’ lives. So the watch out here is keeping tuned in to what people truly want, and building a relationship with customers that goes deeper than a superficial photo. In order to retain relevance, originality and build an offer that lasts it often requires a new way of looking at things.

Images courtesy of Unsplash

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