Brands and influencers are rethinking their social media feeds, preferring short-life content that does its job, then disappears.
From Balenciaga to JW Anderson, brands are quickening the pace at which they remove content from their social media feeds. Balenciaga first wiped its Instagram grid clean in June, ahead of unveiling its first haute couture collection in 53 years, and has since continued to clean its Instagram feed regularly. Its current feed features just 64 images from the Spring/Summer 2022 collection.
JW Anderson has a mere 35 posts on Instagram featuring seasonal products such as the new Bumper bag. Nicolas Ghesquiere wiped his Instagram feed for his 921,000 followers ahead of Louis Vuitton’s spring summer show: a video of the womenswear collection remains the only post. Meanwhile, some fashion influencers are also curating their feeds: leading creators are often opting to remove sponsored posts after a period of time, say marketing agencies — unless brands are willing to pay more.
Blink and you’ll miss it: The rise of short-lived marketing
The focus of marketers is moving to so-called ephemeral content, which is shown for a shorter period of time, sometimes less than 24 hours, before disappearing. Marketers used to prioritise evergreen campaigns with high-quality content that stuck around. However, brands are having to work harder to appear new and fresh, says Nadia Tuma-Weldon, lead of global luxury practice at McCann Worldgroup, a global ad giant with clients ranging from L’Oréal to Nestle and Mastercard. “There’s a lot of pressure to capture a youth audience and every marketer is just scrambling to figure out how to get their attention. If you work in fashion, your competition is not the next clothing or shoe brand — it’s the entire internet.”
Much of the shift has been driven by social platforms, says Cody Eastmond, senior director of digital marketing at Science Magic, which works with Versace, Canada Goose, Tiffany & Co. and Glossier among others. Instagram, launched initially as a photo-sharing app, is encouraging users to share and engage with ephemeral short-form video content; as do newer livestream apps such as Periscope and Meerkat. “These platforms are allowing people to show their personality a bit more,” says Eastmond. “Social media, and especially
fashion, has been very curated for a long time. People used to care about how their feed images look all together but there wasn’t necessarily personality there. Since the rise of Instagram Stories, brands are having to act more like individuals.”
The obsession with the Instagram grid is passing. “Instagram has become this kind of multifaceted platform where you’re able to do so many different things. The grid has become less important and less emphasised,” says Chriselle Lim, a Los Angeles-based digital creator and entrepreneur whose “rich mom” persona has attracted 2.7 million followers on Tiktok and 1.4 million on Instagram, as well as clients such as Tiffany & Co. and Armani Beauty.