Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri could not have been more explicit. “We are no longer a photo-sharing app.”
Instagram is taking aim at TikTok and YouTube. The popular app is pivoting toward video, entertainment, shopping, and messaging. In a video posted on Twitter, Mosseri announced:
“Changes are coming to video on Instagram At Instagram we’re always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience. Right now we’re focused on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging.”
Recommendations and Topics
Mosseri also announced, “What you are going to see over the next couple of months really is us start to experiment more in the space of what we call ‘Recommendations,’ so showing you things in Feed that you may not be following yet. We just started testing an early version of this last week.”
And of course, algorithm-based feeds have dominated Facebook and Instagram for years, with both abandoning timeline-based feeds long ago.
Instagram is also rolling out a new feature called Topics. “You can say which topics you want to see more of or less of.”
This may not be surprising to many. Instagram has been moving toward this for a while, previously allowing you to “follow” different hashtags.
The influence of TikTok
Mosseri touched on becoming more video based as well, stating, “We’re also going to be experimenting with how we embrace video more broadly. Full-screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video.”
It seems the rise of TikTok has Mosseri and others at Instagram concerned. Mosseri stated, “There is stiff competition. And there’s more to do. And that means change.”
Instagram already has IGTV, Reels and Stories, but clearly seeks to move beyond that. There were few details in the video announcement, but Mosseri did use the word “experiment” more than once.
Regardless, this a significant shift in how Instagram will attempt to position itself. And it seems the future will be far less about sharing square photos and more about emulating other platforms.
What is your opinion about this shift? If you use Instagram to share photos, how do you feel this will affect you?