Say what you like, Instagram has reached unforeseen heights in terms of users and user engagement. Its users make up nearly 13% of the world’s population. You might scrunch your nose at the exorbitant amounts earned by influencers such as Kim Kardashian and others, but Instagram’s influence over a certain demographic is undeniable.

But even as the platform matures, its influencers aren’t necessarily resting on their laurels. Take Selena Gomez, queen of the millennial pop ballad. Her most recent music video release “Past Life” is a cute nod to the “new normal.” Posted on Instagram, and filmed on Instagram Live, the video simultaneously shows us even celebrities are “working from home” while also giving fans a prominent part in the production.

Who do you keep looking at off screen, Selena? What’s that just out your window, Trevor?

You’d be right to think the audio is overlayed from a professional recording session. Neither Instagram Live, Zoom or other live streaming services can completely eliminate lag.

Jacob Collier, hailed as a multi-instrumentalist wunderkind, has gained some attention lately for seemingly having devised a work-around for lag when live streaming. Apparently this is a sort of holy grail for the music industry as it struggles to find ways to reproduce the live experience digitally.

You know how awkward it is when you talk over someone due to lag? Well imagine that on a mega-celebrity diva scale. Yeah, some innovation is needed. Especially as Jacob Collier is conducting weekly Instagram Live sessions. That would get awkward very quickly.

But that’s not all. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez recently opened up their Instagram accounts for takeovers by anti-racist leaders and organizations.

While some might doubt the sincerity of their motivations, these celebrities have given control of a very powerful part of their personal brand over to a cause they believe in. That, in and of itself, means something.

At the end of the day, social media is a necessary evil, becoming more and more necessary as we are are forced to stay distant from each other. Any smart communicator would be wise to keep an eye on social media innovators, and hey, maybe even make some bold moves of your own.

*Note: I’m sure I’ve missed some great examples of innovative social media use. Feel free to tip me off via my contact page. I’m always looking for more inspiration.

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