It looks like your favorite photo-sharing app is no longer just that, at least according to its head Adam Mosseri. He announced on Twitter that changes are coming to Instagram soon as they will be focusing on entertainment and videos, similar to competitors TikTok and YouTube. While they haven’t fully outlined what all those changes will be, he indicated some things that users can expect in the following months. But the basic idea is that it’s “no longer a square photo-sharing app”.
With the success of TikTok and YouTube, it’s not surprising that Instagram would want to chase its competitors even though it’s popular in its own right. If you were satisfied with just browsing through photos and the occasional videos, Instagram says you really aren’t. Mosseri shares that the number one reason people are on the platform is to be entertained and so the changes they will be making will be based on this idea which they said comes from research.
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. pic.twitter.com/ezFp4hfDpf
— Adam Mosseri 😷 (@mosseri) June 30, 2021
One thing they’ll be doing is experiment with the Recommendations aspect of Instagram. If before the recommendations are found in the search and discovery section, you will soon see some things in your Feed that the algorithm thinks you’ll like, even from accounts that you don’t follow. But you’ll also be able to say what topics you want to see and what you don’t want to see on your feed in the new version that they’re testing out now.
And because they’re chasing the virality of TikTok and YouTube, this means that there will be a renewed focus on video. While you can already see videos on your Feed, Stories, and Live, Mosseri says they will be experimenting more on bringing videos more broadly. Terms like “full-screen, immersive, entertaining, and mobile-first” have been thrown out although the specifics will probably come later on.
As to how users will embrace these changes is still up in the air. Instagram says the changes are based on research but it may also be based on the fact that videos are easier to monetize than photos. We’ll see how it will be accepted once the changes actually roll out.