Instagram Updates May Affect Webcomic Creators
Last week, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram made it abundantly clear that they are pivoting to being a video-sharing social media platform. This is in the face of fierce competition from the likes of Tik-Tok and Youtube.
As Mosseri puts it, Instagram no longer wants to be thought of as the “square photo-sharing app,” but instead as an entertaintment app driven by algorithms and videos.
So, how does that impact webcomic creators? Much of that is unknown. In the last couple of years, Instagram has become home to a thriving webcomics community made up of an eclectic mix of creators. Most of them had jumped ship from Tumblr in late 2018 following the Tumblocalypse.
What made Instagram attractive to webcomic creators was its built-in audience and its unique photo sharing feature. For many cartoonists, the gallery feature is perfect for displaying comics in a panel-by-panel layout. As a result, short-form comics(gag-a-day/newspaper style comic strips) have gained huge popularity on the platform. Examples include: Shencomix, Poorly Drawn Lines and Strange Planet.
If Instagram does make a shift to focusing on video, it’s more than likely their algorithms will at a minimum bury image-based posts like webcomics. We may therefore be looking at yet another webcomic creator migration to a more accommodating social media platform.