Today, Instagram announced Direct Messaging. Users can select up to 15 people to send a specific picture or video to.
15. That’s it. Meh.
On a personal level, I can see that with your friends. From a sports perspective, that 15 number is very limiting. Think about that for while looking at a few accounts.
Above, I’ve included accounts for Instagram itself, one team, one athlete, one league and one sports outlet. Note the number of followers for each. 15 allowed when Instagram Direct Messaging compared to 53 million for Instagram, 2 million for Cristiano Ronaldo and 1 million for the NBA?
And, what about people requesting these brands allow them to direct message “to” them? Like this:
Ty Nowell (@tynowell) December 12, 2013
Someone tell me how this is a positive in sports branding/connecting because I’m not seeing it yet.
If I were Instagram, I would add “Lists” capability. Lists would allow for easier communication of the brand message.
For example, a college athletic department could create a list solely for boosters. Said department could send the Instagram Direct to just that list. Or, they could have a list for team recruits. Department could send the recruits on a list a quick 15-second video with a message from the coach. I’m not sure how this would work within NCAA guidelines so this potentially could be a violation, perhaps. I don’t know.
Without the lists though, how are departments going to keep track of who they sent the message to without writing it down somewhere. It’s not like teams are only recruiting 15 players at a time. Lists make it easier for tracking.
If I were Twitter, I would add tweeting “to” the already in place, Twitter lists feature. If they don’t already, teams/schools could create lists for boosters or recruits. Sports outlets could have subscribers list. Each could tweet directly a message, picture or video to those in their lists.
I realize there would need to be adjustments made to the Direct Message feature in Twitter, but it’s something that could be done.
Will the so-called “Groups” feature mentioned during today’s Instagram announcement be like Twitter lists? If so, they’ll need update Instagram’s web capabilities. Attempting to create Twitter lists on phones is cumbersome. Can’t imagine trying to actually create group lists on Instagram on my phone.
There are probably challenges to implementing either of my ideas as they currently stand. And, there are many out there smarter than me when it comes to sports marketing who can figure out how to make it work in the parameters now given.
Until then, I’ll play the wait-and-see game.