How would you improve Instagram? - Product Improvement
Instagram Product Manager Interview: Product Improvement - How would you improve Instagram?
How to Answer Product Improvement Questions?
Here is a step-by-step framework, you should follow while answering product improvement interview questions during the interview:
0. Pay close attention to the keywords in the question.
1. Describe the Product. (P)
2. Ask clarifying Questions to trim down the scope of the question. (Q)
3. Define the Goal you want to achieve. (G)
4. List the User Segments and select one segment to focus on. (U)
5. List and prioritize the Pain Points for that segment. (P)
6. List out your Solutions to solve those pain points. (S)
7. Evaluate all the solutions and prioritize them. (E)
8. Define Metrics to measure the performance of the solutions. (M)
9. At the end, Summarize your answer (S)
(PQ-GUP-SEMS) -> Mnemonic to help you remember the steps & their order.
Let’s get started with the solution (remember to follow the framework),
First, clarify with the interviewer which Instagram product you are referring to here. (e.g. Instagram stories, reels, feed, explore, IGTV, ads, shopping, live, etc.)
A) For the purpose of this question, assume the whole of Instagram as a platform.
Step 1: Describe the Product (P)
Once, you are clear with the question, start by explaining your understanding of the product. Cover the following things about the product,
What does the product do?
Who uses it?
How are they using it?
What pain point is it solving for the users?
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service that enables users to capture, edit, and share moments from their lives through visually captivating content. Whether it's a stunning landscape, a mouth-watering meal, or a joyful gathering, Instagram provides a platform for users to express themselves artistically and engage with others through images and videos.
Instagram's mission is to "bring you closer to the people and things you love." The platform aims to create a space where people can connect, share, and discover meaningful content with their friends, family, and communities. Instagram's mission centres around fostering connections, inspiring creativity, and providing a platform for individuals to express themselves, discover new ideas, and build relationships through visual storytelling. By enabling users to capture and share moments from their lives, Instagram strives to enhance the sense of belonging, creativity, and inspiration in the online social landscape.
Instagram can be accessed from a desktop web, mobile web, and mobile app (Android, IOS).
Some of the major competitors of Instagram are TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook (including Facebook Stories and Facebook Live), YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Instagram has amassed an immense user base that spans across diverse demographics, making it one of the most popular social media platforms. From individuals to businesses, artists to influencers, celebrities to ordinary people, Instagram caters to a wide range of users worldwide. People of all ages and interests find their place on Instagram, making it a truly inclusive platform.
How are they using it?
Users use Instagram in various ways to suit their needs and preferences:
Storytelling: Instagram offers a unique storytelling experience through the use of visual media. Users share moments from their lives, posting photos and videos accompanied by captions, filters, stickers, and hashtags.
Engagement and Connection: Users can follow accounts of interest, like and comment on posts, and even direct message each other. The platform encourages interactions, conversations and forging connections between individuals, communities, and businesses.
Content Creation: With features like Boomerang and Reels, users can experiment with short-form videos, adding an element of dynamism and creativity to their profiles.
Discovery and Inspiration: Instagram's Explore page curates personalized content based on a user's interests, enabling them to discover new accounts, trends, and inspiration. From art and fashion to travel and food, users can find a wide range of captivating content, opening doors to new experiences and creativity.
Pain points it solves for users:
Instagram addresses several pain points for its users, including:
Expression and Creativity: By providing a platform focused on visual content, Instagram empowers users to express themselves creatively. It enables individuals to showcase their talents, share their passions, and receive validation and encouragement from others.
Connection and Community: Instagram bridges geographical distances, allowing users to connect with friends, family, and like-minded individuals from all around the globe. It serves as a virtual gathering space, fostering a sense of belonging and facilitating meaningful connections.
Inspiration and Exploration: Instagram offers a wealth of inspiration and opportunities for exploration. Users can immerse themselves in a vast array of content, discover new interests, and gain exposure to different cultures, ideas, and perspectives.
Escape and Entertainment: Instagram provides a platform for users to escape from their daily routines and indulge in entertainment. Whether it's exploring stunning travel destinations, following their favourite celebrities, or immersing themselves in humorous memes and videos, Instagram offers a source of light-hearted entertainment and relaxation.
Business and Brand Promotion: Instagram serves as a valuable marketing tool for businesses and brands. With business profiles, users can promote their products or services, connect with their target audience, and leverage the power of visual content to build brand awareness, drive sales, and establish a digital presence.
Inspiration for Personal and Professional Growth: Instagram's vast and diverse content ecosystem offers users a wealth of inspiration for personal and professional growth. From motivational quotes and success stories to educational tutorials and career advice, users can find valuable insights and guidance to enhance their skills, pursue their passions, and achieve their goals.
Community Support and Empowerment: Instagram has become a platform for various communities, fostering support, empowerment, and advocacy. Users can find solace, share their stories, and connect with others facing similar challenges. Instagram has also played a crucial role in raising awareness about social issues, promoting activism, and driving positive change.
Visual Discovery and Shopping: Instagram has transformed into a marketplace for discovery and shopping. Users can explore and purchase products directly from the app, discovering new brands, trends, and inspiration. It simplifies the shopping experience, allowing users to make informed decisions based on visuals, reviews, and recommendations.
Step 2. Ask clarifying questions to narrow the scope. (Q)
Q) What is the goal of improvement here? Improve user engagement? Increase user retention? Increase revenue? Acquire more users and content? Improve the user experience on the App?
A) It’s up to you. You are free to choose.
Q) What is the target audience for these improvements?
A) It’s up to you to choose.
Q) Are we focussing on any particular platform like desktop web/app or mobile web/app?
A) For now, you can just focus on the mobile App.
Q) For the improvement, are we focusing on a Global audience or a specific region?
A) It’s up to you to choose. We would be focusing on the global audience.
Q) Why are we thinking about improvements now?
A) Some possible reasons why improvements for Instagram are under consideration are:
User Feedback and Needs: Instagram continuously listens to user feedback and identifies areas where improvements can enhance the user experience. User demands and evolving preferences are vital drivers for platform enhancements.
Competitor Landscape: The social media landscape is dynamic, with emerging platforms and evolving features from competitors. Instagram may be assessing market trends and considering improvements to stay relevant and competitive.
Technological Advancements: Advances in technology, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, or machine learning, provide opportunities for Instagram to introduce innovative features and enhance existing functionalities to be at par with competition and give top-notch user experience.
Regular assessment and iteration are integral to keep the platform engaging, relevant, and responsive to user needs.
Step 3. Define the Goal you want to achieve. (G)
Instagram's primary goal is to provide a platform for users to visually express themselves, connect with others, and discover inspiring content. The objective of Instagram is to foster a vibrant and inclusive community where users can share their stories, passions, and creative endeavours. The platform aims to offer a seamless and engaging user experience while continuously innovating to meet evolving user needs and preferences.
However, with the growth of other photo and video-sharing social networking platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter etc. Instagram is facing tough competition in keeping users engaged and retained on the platform.
Instagram is now a mature product and I feel improvement in user engagement is something that aligns very closely with the mission of Instagram. Also, an increase in user engagement will lead to an increase in user retention which will eventually lead to an increase in revenue as well for Instagram.
Step 4. List the User Segments and choose one segment to focus on. (U)
Broadly, Instagram users can be divided into,
Individuals: This segment consists of individual users who join Instagram to share their personal moments, connect with friends and family, and discover content of interest.
Influencers and Creators: This segment comprises individuals who use Instagram as a platform to build a personal brand, share their expertise or talents, and engage with a dedicated following. They often collaborate with brands and monetize their content.
Businesses and Brands: This segment includes companies of all sizes that use Instagram for marketing, brand promotion, customer engagement, and driving sales. Businesses leverage Instagram's visual nature to showcase products or services and connect with their target audience.
Artists and Creatives: This segment encompasses individuals in creative fields, such as photographers, designers, painters, musicians, and writers, who utilize Instagram as a digital portfolio, showcase their work, gain exposure, and connect with a community of fellow artists.
Non-profit Organizations: This segment consists of charitable organizations and advocacy groups that leverage Instagram's reach and visual storytelling capabilities to raise awareness, share their mission, and engage with supporters.
Communities and Interest Groups: This segment includes users who form communities or interest-based groups on Instagram, focusing on topics like fitness, fashion, travel, cooking, parenting, and more. These communities foster connections and conversations around shared passions.
Out of the different user segments, I would be focusing on the Individuals Segment. These are everyday users who join the platform to express themselves, connect with others, and discover inspiring content. Here are some key points highlighting the significance of individuals on Instagram:
Personal Expression: Individuals use Instagram as a digital canvas to showcase their lives, interests, and experiences. They share photos, videos, and stories that reflect their unique personalities and allow them to express themselves creatively.
Social Connections: Instagram facilitates social connections, enabling individuals to connect with friends, family, and acquaintances. It serves as a digital social network where users can follow and be followed, like and comment on posts, and engage in conversations.
Content Discovery: Individuals follow accounts related to their interests, hobbies, and passions, allowing them to explore and discover new content, trends, and inspirations.
Inspiration and Aspiration: Individuals follow accounts that showcase travel, fashion, fitness, food, art, and more, to seek ideas, motivation, and aspirational content.
Community and Support: Individuals join or create communities, engage with like-minded individuals, and find support and encouragement.
Entertainment and Recreation: Individuals enjoy browsing through funny memes, watching engaging videos, and following their favourite celebrities, influencers, or content creators.
Personal Branding and Influence: Some individuals aspire to build their personal brand and become influencers on Instagram. They utilize the platform to gain followers, share expertise or talents, and collaborate with brands.
Individuals are the heart of Instagram, driving engagement, interactions, and the platform's overall vibrancy.
Step 5. List and prioritize the Pain Points. (P)
Here are some common pain points within the Individuals segment on Instagram: