Instagram's Mixed Messaging on CTAs and Post Reach: What You Need to Know

Instagram’s Mixed Messaging on CTAs and Post Reach: What You Need to Know

Instagram has recently been sharing some seemingly contradictory advice on ctas and post reach, causing confusion among its creator community.

A few months back, Instagram advised against asking for specific engagement actions, sparking backlash from creators and prompting Instagram to delete the post within 24 hours. However, the platform continues to share controversial guidance from its official accounts.

For instance, early last month, Instagram advised creators at an event to avoid posting Reels longer than 90 seconds. Yet, just last week, Instagram published a video on how to create Reels longer than 90 seconds.

The apparent contradiction lies in a technicality: videos over 90 seconds won’t be eligible for recommendations in Explore or the Reels tab. While you can still post longer videos, their reach potential will be limited, which somewhat clarifies the conflicting advice.

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Further confusion arose last week when Instagram released a video advising against using specific CTAs that explicitly ask for engagement, like commenting with a specific word, number, or emoji. The platform deleted this video as well.

Here’s the key message from the deleted clip: “Don’t try to hack engagement. If your content explicitly asks for shares, comments, tags, or other actions, it won’t be recommended. Instead, create content that inspires real discussion with open-ended questions and CTAs.”

This advice isn’t entirely new; Instagram has long discouraged engagement-baiting tactics. However, it raises concerns about how marketing automation tools, like ManyChat, might be impacted since these tools often prompt engagement based on specific triggers.

While Instagram’s advice might affect strategies that rely on explicit engagement requests, it primarily impacts recommendations to non-followers in Explore. For those focusing on engaging existing followers, the impact may be minimal.

Ultimately, it’s about experimentation. If your current approach works, stick with it, but keep Instagram’s guidance in mind for optimal performance.

Instagram’s communications team appears to be striving for more helpful advice, though sometimes it backtracks under scrutiny. We may see further clarity as they refine their guidance based on feedback.