‘No Longer a Photo Sharing App’ Head of Instagram Says About Future of Platform
This past week, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri took to his Instagram and Twitter feeds to share some important updates about the photosharing app. He described how the platform has evolved from a chronological square photo-sharing app to more of an entertainment space and what changes they intend to make during H2 2021 and H1 2022 to keep users active.
People are Looking for Entertainment
Throughout the Pandemic, TikTok saw a surge of users sign up to its platform from a far different demographic than they were originally aiming at—something Instagram has already taken on board with its Reels features.
Mosseri noted that Tik Tok and Youtube are huge competitors for Instagram “TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger and there are a lot of other upstarts as well," he said during his 2-minute long IGTV announcement. This is obviously the reasoning behind some of their up-and-coming feature updates, which are similiar to features of the Tik Tok app.
One of the big announcements Mosseri made was about its new ‘recommended’ feature that’ll soon be appearing in our newsfeeds. This will be kind of like ‘explore’ page content interwoven between the content of our followers.
For content creators, this sounds like the perfect way to improve reach and build more of a community in your space. Mosseri has previously spoken about how the algorithm for the explore page works. The recommended posts feature will likely work in the same manner.
This feature echoes the TikTok For You Page, and, if successful, could likely cause an increase in time on the app for Instagram users. Through this ‘entertainment’ based strategy, users often find themselves in a bit of a TikTok black hole for an hour that they can’t get out of. It sounds like Instagram might be trying to create something similar.
It’s no secret that Instagram has been pushing video more and more for some time now. Anyone who’s tried to grow their account has been encouraged to publish reels that can even see the smallest micro-influencers and small businesses reach thousands of users.
Instagram is going to heavily focus on video over the next 12 months and wants to make a more immersive user experience.
How do they intend to achieve that?
The introduction of full-screen videos, taking a “mobile-first approach” and creating a truly entertaining experience. For those of you who get access to Instagram’s features fairly quickly, expect to see a lot of things rolling out over the next few months. Mosseri said there’s going to be a lot of testing/experimentation, so you might find that you’ll be able to access all new features while they’re in Beta and we can expect to see our feed recommendations start immediately.
Of course, we all love video, Tik Tok content often included. We just hope that Instagram doesn’t lose what it originally set out to be. If they just become the same as TikTok, they’re going to lose that USP that made them stand out in the first place.
In part, this was already the case when they introduced ads (the lack of which was one of their advantages over Facebook), and again when they incorporated stories, which was a function copied from Snapchat.
For the content creator, however, it might make their lives a little easier since it makes things like content repurposing much more simple.