Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app, according to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram. In a video posted to his Instagram and Twitter accounts, Mosseri said the company is looking to lean into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube.
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.
Changes are coming to video on Instagram— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) June 30, 2021
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
We heard recently about Instagram’s experiments with algorithmic additions inside the main feed, but the idea of basing them off of topics that users can select appears to be a new one for the platform. The app has also had full-screen video experiences for a while for content posted to IGTV, Reels, and Stories, but Mosseri says the company wants to “embrace video more broadly.”
The message that Instagram is sending is clear: it no longer wants to be thought of as the “square photo-sharing app,” as Mosseri puts it, but instead as a general entertainment app driven by algorithms and videos. At the moment, though, 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.