While Morin Oluwole, Head of Global Luxury for Instagram and Facebook, was courting big-name brands at the Condé Naste International (CNI) conference in Cape Town, one British cosmetic brand announced that it would be quitting social media entirely. 

Morin was part of a panel, moderated by Wired UK's Editor Greg Williams, discussing the building of brand loyalty with the luxury consumer of tomorrow via digital platforms at the prestigious event held at the Waterfront just as Lush confirmed that they are done with social media. 

"Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed.

So, we’ve decided it’s time to bid farewell to some of our social channels and open up the conversation between you and us instead," Lush said on their Instagram page.

Instead, the brand will be actively corresponding with consumers via live chat on their website, via email and by telephone. 

During the CNI panel discussion, Oluwole said that Instagram, where the average user opens the app around seven times daily, is actively investing in luxury and encouraged brands to embrace the platform. 

"We're tailoring the platforms for those who want to shop. Our four key priorities are video, Stories, messaging, and shopping," Oluwole said, adding: "Instagram Stories has over 500 million daily users and over 2 million advertisers active on the platform."

Instagram Stories, which mimics the format of Snapchat, was first launched in August 2016 and is currently the number one way in which social media users consume content on Instagram. 

Apart from Stories, the company is also diverting its attention to direct messaging as a way to reach consumers. Instagram is also currently testing a new addition to the platform which will allow consumers to buy products directly from their favourite brands without even leaving the social media app.  

"Transparency, integrity, and authenticity are important to us. Brands have to invest in their own strategy, engage the local influencers and use insights into the local market to ensure that their global media message has the right fit," Oluwole said. 

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