Is Instagram truly dead? If so, what even is the most popular social media app? How much can people really make from content? We all have so many questions about social media because it makes itself so damn hard to catch up on. 

Wishu has done the filtering for you this spring, so let’s dive in… 

First and foremost, any eulogies for Instagram are premature. Creators are certainly making money from it and brands especially are using it as a way to partner with many creators and leverage purchasing influence. If anything, it has grown since last year and doesn’t seem to be shoving as many short-form video Reels into our feeds as it used to. Furthermore, the recommendations are much more relevant than a year ago. 

It also seems that Instagram’s strength is harnessed in the areas TikTok cannot provide in such making the experience more about followers which is a plus for creators who want to have stronger connections with fans who may not see their content on TikTok if it doesn’t hit their For You page. 

More negatively, however, its parent Meta Platforms recently decided to move away from offering cash bonuses for posting Reels. Many creators feel that Instagram should be upping those bonuses right now and thinking about new ways to attract creators, rather than slashing incentives.

Since Instagram is still very much seated at the top of the pyramid, it may be the top platform for some creators. However, whichever platform is the “best” totally depends on a user, creator or brand’s needs and desires or upon where they have already built a following Overall, though, YouTube has long been the most lucrative when it comes to earning money directly from a platform. It’s shared revenue from ads on longer videos since 2007! TikTok, Instagram and others have failed to offer similar consistent revenue opportunities outside of brand partnerships that creators typically arrange independently. 

As for creator marketplaces, the results are hot and cold. While they act as a funnel to connect creators with brands, the rates tend to be off from a creator’s usual pricing, or the match-making isn’t quite a fit for either the brand or the influencer. The platforms have the benefit of offering this service directly within their apps, but in the two years or so that many of them have launched, these marketplaces haven’t proven to be a disruptive challenge to existing influencer marketing companies. These firms go beyond match matching, by providing help with contract negotiations, offering creative ideas and measuring the success of campaigns. For now, social platforms are also not taking a cut of these deals. 

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