Instagram is no longer just an App for sharing photos.

Instagram announces that the platform is now evolving into a video-centric entertainment app. What does this mean for hotels?

  • Dawn Whittle
  • Published on July 7, 2021

This week, the Head of Instagram announced that the Facebook-owned platform is no longer just an app for sharing photos. Instead, the company is evolving into (another) video-centric entertainment app.

In a video posted on Adam Mosseri's Instagram and Twitter accounts, he advised that Instagram is shifting its focus to becoming a video-based entertainment channel. A decision based on the success of TikTok and YouTube and an attempt to keep up with competitor platforms.

Mosseri explained that the app would be carrying out a few experiments. Two prominent examples include recommendations for topics users aren't following, based on other accounts they follow, along with making video content more immersive with a full-screen experience.

Instagram is currently testing numerous algorithm experiments and additions. Still, the recommendation of content that users have shown no previous interest in is a pretty dramatic development for the platform.

Based on user feedback, Instagram has made it clear that a full-screen video experience is cited as more popular and will no longer be referred to as the 'square photo-sharing app with filters' it originally was.

With Instagram becoming the new TikTok, how can hotels create video content to attract new followers and convert them into guests?

While the ability to post photos to your grid still exists, Instagram will favour Reels, IGTV and Stories, meaning images won't show in your follower's feeds.

The decision to become a video-based entertainment platform has received a massive backlash from digital creators, influencers and brands alike. After all, producing video content is time-consuming and tricky to get right if you lack experience in the area. In addition, unprofessional or 'cringeworthy' video content can be damaging to a brand.

So, how can your hotel keep up with Instagram's changes and, more importantly, use video to your advantage?

Know the key features to use on Stories
Over 500 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily; ensure you're using the marketing tools to get the most out of your Story.

Key features include adding geotags to tag your property's location for easy search. In addition, using hashtags around trending topics, holidays, and key events will help expand your reach. And, sharing links in your Stories to guest reviews or your booking page will encourage guests to book direct.

Create Story highlights
Instagram Stories only appear at the top of the Instagram feed for 24-hours. Creating a series of Highlights ensures that your stories appear permanently at the top of your page.

Categorise your highlights so your users can easily find and view what they're looking for; highlight categories could include weddings, food, accommodation, events and the local area.

Use IGTV to showcase hotel facilities
Instagram is the go-to app for travel inspiration. The IGTV feature offers the perfect opportunity to showcase your hotel, venues, and facilities through more engaging and immersive content. IGTV is ideal for filming virtual tours of your wedding and conference venues, restaurants, grounds, and rooms.

Film local attractions and sightseeing tours
Videos of local sightseeing tours, entertainment and family activities are highly effective for promoting reasons to book a stay at your hotel. Make it personal by asking your hotel staff to make an appearance and recommend their favourite restaurants, local walks or tours in the area.

It's also worth noting that while IGTVs have an hour-long limit, 5-10 minutes is more than adequate for retaining a viewers' attention.

Host interactive masterclasses

Interactive video is a fantastic and fun way of growing your hotel's Instagram following. Video masterclasses can be presented by chefs, bar staff or even spa beauticians.

Uploading a video of your chef hosting a cooking class, a 'how to mix a cocktail' series by your bartender, or regular beauty tips from on-site spa staff is highly engaging and entertaining content that will have your viewers regularly tuning back in wanting to watch more.

Use Instagram Live to stream events and host interviews
The Instagram Live feature is ideal for capturing the buzz and atmosphere of live events at your hotel, such as music, comedy and themed talks nights.

Instagram Live is an interactive way to answer questions (by replying to live comments), invite staff or industry specialists to participate in a split-screen interview, and create a buzz around the latest offers or launches.

Use the Reels feature
Instagram developed Reels in response to the success of TikTok, where short videos are shared to your feed and stories.

Reels is an excellent tool for introducing your team, filming edited snippets of 'a day in the life at your hotel', joining in with trending 'challenges' or answering questions in a fun and creative way.

There are endless ideas and options for how hotels can utilise video to attract followers and drive direct bookings.

However, we understand it can feel overwhelming when trying to keep up with new social media features and changes, but the HopDigital team is here to help.

If you need advice or assistance with creating your video content, chat to us about how to get started at