Instagram’s Unintended Fight Against Capitalism

When you need an outfit for an impending party, you turn to Google for assistance. Google leads you to Amazon to buy your clothing. You order some clothing, put them on, and on your way to the party, you stop at the mall to pick up some Hamleys gifts. The celebration cake is a pricey Nik Baker’s chocolate truffle with whipped cream. When you go home, you upload a photo from the party on your Facebook page. Throughout the day, you have been a staunch supporter of capitalism.

Capitalism is the fundamental cause of monopolies, poor poverty eradication, economic disparity, and market volatility. We won’t get into the pros and cons of capitalism, but the case in point is about small businesses constantly playing catch up with the giants, and as long as the giants make up for excellent GDP statistics, the governments don’t mind the lopsided wealth.

It is rather startling to see Instagram, a monopoly in itself, levelling the proverbial digital playing field between small and major enterprises. Instagram added a new section in business profiles called Business Resources to help businesses stay informed about the latest tools and resources, such as Instagram’s ‘Support Small Business’ sticker, which allows people to show love and support to various budding businesses while also providing them with a platform to tap an untapped market. Instagram has experimented with shoppable posts, which lead visitors to a product’s checkout page with the touch of a finger, to supplement its efforts to assist businesses. They haven’t stopped here, Instagram even partnered with Kareen Kapoor Khan to support a small business, My Bageecha, on her profile.

Instagram’s deliberate attempt to promote companies of all sizes has played out in a completely different way on the platform. After attentively watching the growth of a small company on Instagram for a month, one can observe how the page’s owners exploit Instagram’s algorithm to improve their exposure in a highly smart way. In a conventional context, a firm does a market study to determine who the best target audience for their product/service would be. This is not supposed to be easy. To segment the population into groups and comprehend the varied consumer behaviours within each category, requires resources-both financial and human. Furthermore, in order to fill an unmet demand, businesses must connect their corporate goals with these complicated behaviours. They seek avenues where they can locate their target audience after they know who they want to target. A youngster, for example, is more likely to be discovered on Instagram, whereas a businessman is more likely to be found on LinkedIn, and so on. Once the firm has determined where their target audience is, they use that platform to place advertising with which prospective consumers may connect. Your company makes money when you’ve struck a chord with a consumer. This traditional method has a slight drawback in the sense that it generalises customer behaviour. Just because a market analysis shows that hats are more commonly worn by teenagers does not mean that people in other age groups would not wear the hat you produce, and now that a company has over segmented to create a marketing plan, they cannot capture the actual number of customers who would be interested in purchasing their product.

This is no longer the case with Instagram. Instagram’s algorithm is set up in such a way that it only shows you what you want to see. People frequently report seeing ads in their feeds that are extremely close to what they are searching for or what they search for on various search engines. The algorithms are largely responsible for this. Instagram monitors every activity, so they know exactly what a user wants, what their price sensitivity scale is, and which firms they prefer buying from. This information is then utilised to feed content to the user based on her preferences and skills. This procedure makes it ten times simpler for small enterprises to outperform giant corporations. Regardless of who you are, if someone searches for sustainable fashion online, there is a very good possibility that Instagram will place your post in front of that person at some point. This allows a company to target a 40-year-old and a 14-year-old on the same platform with the same resources.

While this algorithm appears to operate similarly for both large and small firms, small businesses appear to gain slightly more from it. Customers enjoy feeling linked to brands and businesses. That is why so many of the popular commercials we encounter attempt to touch on some emotional element of our life. Small companies have changed the way people interact with brands. It’s typical to see these entrepreneurs posting about even the smallest accomplishments or streaming live to provide a behind-the-scenes look at running a small business. When small companies post polls or upload user-generated material, consumers feel as though they have contributed to the brand’s development. This is what allows them to get traction. When consumers believe that each order they make will become someone’s milestone, it works as an extra element to push them into the funnel’s conversion stage.

With customers having cheaper choices because of the rise of small start ups on Instagram, it’s no surprise that this is the season to start a small business. And, with Instagram being the greatest way to get started on our own without investing a penny, more and more people should jump on board. These small businesses will establish a perfect balance of demand and supply on Instagram, which will jointly challenge capitalism.

Instagram is transforming into an ideal platform for small businesses. With the addition of a store tab to its users’ accounts, we will all soon be able to have customised alternatives that are most suited to our needs. Not only will we be able to contribute to the vocal for local initiative without succumbing to faceless companies, but small enterprises will also be able to capture markets that they would not have otherwise obtained if it weren’t for Instagram. Facebook is testing the possibility of bringing Facebook Pay in the future, which would make the entire Instagram purchasing experience completely seamless. With that stated, Instagram’s unintentional anti-capitalist campaign will provide an opportunity for small businesses while also posing a threat to users who have recently discovered the road of frugality.

– Janvi Gupta

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