When is a photo-sharing app not a photo-sharing app?

When it’s 2021, and the app is Instagram.

This news comes directly from the top: Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram. In a video posted to his Instagram and Twitter accounts, Mosseri recently said the company is looking to lean into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube.

“We’re no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app,” Mosseri said.

“According to Mosseri, the main reason for that is that people come to Instagram ‘to be entertained,’ and it’s not the only app that offers that in what is a crowded marketplace,” noted Engadget.

“He describes some upcoming changes and experiments that Instagram will be doing, including showing users recommendations for topics they’re not following and making video more immersive by offering a full-screen experience,” added The Verge.

“Let’s be honest; there’s some really serious competition right now,” Mosseri said. “TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there are a lot of other upstarts as well.”

To stay competitive, Mosseri said Instagram has to embrace that aspect of itself, “and that means change,” noted Engadget.

“One way the app will change is with Instagram handing out more recommendations,” added Engadget. “Mosseri referenced a test the company kicked off last week that’s seen it intersperse ‘Suggested Posts’ in users’ feeds. He also said Instagram plans to embrace video more broadly, focusing on full-screen and immersive content.”

“At Instagram, we’re always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience,” wrote Mosseri. “Right now, we’re focusing on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping, and Messaging.”

Adam Mosseri of Instagram Twitter post where he says "We're no longer a photo-sharing app

Instagram has had full-screen video experiences for a while for content posted to IGTV, Reels, and Stories, but, noted The Verge, Mosseri says the company wants to embrace video more broadly. “At the moment, though,” added TV, “it’s vague as to how Instagram plans on doing that — and whether it’ll be improving and innovating on features popularized by apps like TikTok or just making something with a few Facebook-y tweaks.

“In short, what Mosseri is describing is Instagram becoming more like TikTok. And that’s something we’ve already seen the company try to do with features like Reels,” concluded Engadget. “Of course, it’s one thing to adapt to your rivals and another to lose sight of what made your platform compelling to people in the first place. Together with things like a dedicated shopping hub, Reels and Stories have made Instagram feel bloated and less vital than it was before.”

This article was originally published on the highly recommended American Photo daily 

Main Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Author: David Schonauer

David Schonauer was the Editor in chief of the prestigious American Photo magazine for over 19 years. He is currently the editor of
American Photography Pro Photo, a daily newsletter for professional and advanced amateur photographers.

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