In our last article “Food audiences in the GCC growing despite platform fragmentation” we looked at Sila’s overall food creator data across the major video platforms; Youtube, Instagram and Tik Tok. With the advent of Reels and Tik Tok, the data showed an increasing conversation and in areas an increasingly engaged audience.
But one platform overall did catch our eye. Instagram, when analysed in totality, was not contributing to the growth trend outside of Reels. And so, this article is looking at Instagram food creators in isolation in order to see the movements of the creators and what that could mean for the category on the once, very popular platform.
Looking purely at the big picture of food creators on Instagram, there is an undeniable decline in content being produced for the platform in 2021. Starting with a reduced peak and increased dip around Ramadan season, where typically the platform would perform at its highest in the year for food.
Without this context, and looking only at long-form video of IGTV and short form of Reels on Instagram, you get an entirely different picture.
The above chart shows pure content posting on Reels and IGTV by food creators over the last 2 years. The contrast to the overall platform is stark. Although less volume overall, the trend is a clear increase from the beginning of 2021, and the Ramadan peak was able to be sustained at a higher level than older formats.
Which then promotes the questions of engagement?
Although content is declining, the uptake of Reels since it’s launch in March 2021, has increased engagement significantly on less content.
So are the creators missing a trick, or driving efficiencies across formats to get the most out of their content at the expense of the platforms?
If we look at the volume of content across the formats over time, the overall decline is evident, and the late introduction of Reels, although on a sharp increasing positive trend, has not been enough to correct the loss of content.
What Reels has done (and the increase in longer-form video content engagement), is improved the platform’s performance. So creators are making less content, at higher quality and receiving more value from their audience.
We will continue to analyse foodie creators across all platforms to follow the trends and what that means for brand strategy in the food category across the GCC.