Head of Instagram says Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app

Image: Instagram

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.

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.


For an executive at FaceBook, this guy has awful mike quality.

If they want to compete with YouTube, they need way better desktop and tablet support.

Maybe I’m internally a boomer, but I have no interest in a platform that doesn’t care about the desktop and comes with the privacy issues of FaceBook.

Who is the user base of Instagram? I see it talked a lot about as the platform of teens, but as a teenager in a developed country, very few of my friends use it (or TikTok or SnapChat).

A healthy market clearly exists with all of these different services, but I just don’t see users of these products in real life.

so the teenager in your country doesn’t use Instagram, Tiktok or Snap?

unless you live in China (so they used douyin or whatever tencent/alibaba comes up), i find it hard to believe. lol.

Most used apps for kids/teenager in my country probably revolve around gaming (PUBG, Mobile Legend, etc), Social media (insta,or tiktok), and probably youtube to watch cringy teen-video.

I didn’t say that teenagers don’t use it, I said that I don’t know any teenagers who use it.
Only platform that the majority of people use is iMessage. For reference, USA.

you really think teens are using imessage over snap and insta? let me tell you your personal experience is most likely not even close to representing what teens are actually doing

I don’t have anything more than personal experience, do you?

What is A more representative social technology experience?

I just don’t get that about USA, iMessage is so incredibly dated. I haven’t seen someone use it in at least 4-5 years, of not more, around here.

Not to mention that it means only talking to iOS people, while any messenger app unites platforms of any kind.

Just how is iMessage dated? Educate me, please.

Most people younger than… like 35-40 nowadays, send messages through Instagram and Snapchat DMs, and Discord. In the workplace, everyone uses Slack exclusively for all text based communication; very rarely do people send each other emails, and definitely not about something important because people will miss it. iMessage and text messaging in general is not nearly as popular nowadays. Send text messages outside of social platforms just feels antiquated and distant.

I also find most younger people moving away from YouTube. There’s SO many ads now it’s seriously out of control. You can’t watch for more than 2 minutes without seeing another ad. I don’t even want to watch YouTube videos anymore for that reason. Only when absolutely necessary. Most of the big creators don’t upload anymore or very rarely anyways.

I’m glad you are sharing your experience.
Among the teenagers I know, including myself, there are few users of Instagram and Snapchat, and to assume that texting just isn’t used by young people is too generalist.
Indeed, most teens I know would be amused by the concept of using a Facebook product for communication p, especially direct, private communication.
I’d love to know where you get this sense of zeitgeist, as it varies wildly from mine.

I wouldn’t even know where to start, it just lacks too many features and personalization compared to a modern messenger like Telegram, while also being much slower to send/receive stuff.

In what way is Youtube an Instagram competitor, or vice versa

Not sure about everyone else, but I use those platforms for completely different things, and end up bouncing back and forth from one to the other for that reason.

It’s bit of a stretch, but they’re both competing to get eyeballs on their content. Both of them might do a lot more in general, but for the one aspect that is "entertainment", they’re competitors.

Any photo app alternatives?

let’s be real, the only real photo-sharing app left are just facebook and Instagram.

people have left flickr and 500px.

And photo alone has become a little boring, especially for Gen Z. So they have to adapt lest they become the next myspace.

I’d say VSCO is probably the only one with any sort of traction. However, it’s more of a "Flickr before it became a ghost town" than "Instagram before Stories".

Vero, Ello, and Daisie. tumblr is still around too.

So can someone make a photo sharing app? Every design decision Instagram has made in the past year has made it more annoying to use to share and view photos so I guess this is no surprise. It’s pretty clear that Facebook wants to turn Instagram into a bloated mess like Facebook except with a younger, "cooler" user base.

We ( my friends and family) use Google photos to share photos. I consider Instagram a influencer/marketing photo sharing app. Not much different than Bing images to me.

Kevin Systrom?

Can’t even stay true to your identity.
Why so weak?
You’re not even the original founder and visionary.
He left a long time ago.

Well, to Hell with Instagram then…guess there will be no social media for people over 24 who aren’t Nazis other than the group chat. Just as well.

As a visual artist (painting and collage) who doesn’t want to make reels because they’re simply out of my scope of interest, this is really bad news. The golden age for an illustrator to create a large following on social media and get customers, was from 2010 to 2019. 2010 to 2013 with Tumblr, Instagram from 2014 to 2019-ish, with the facebook Page as a backup strategy.

Now, there’s nothing for us. In the last few months, my posts are not even seen by my followers. TikTok (and IG trying to be TikTok) is not a platform for static art. Tumblr is dead, facebook is only for old people (who never buy illustrations), and so we’re left with nothing. Some others have tried to create "art-specific" instagram-like apps, but not only are buggy/slow, but artists do NOT want apps for artists specifically, they need general purpose apps. We need to sell to the general public, not to other artists. This is what the creators of these apps don’t understand, and they keep making these useless apps. What we need is the Instagram of 2013-2017 (2017 which is when they changed various algorithms, including the introduction of the out of order feed).

Personally, while I own pro video equipment (I used to shoot official music videos before I became an illustrator), I’m not willing to go into doing video reels for my art. I just don’t see it being relevant to my art, apart from trying to get ahead of the instagram algorithm, just so it pushes my posts. I rather not play that game. If IG wants to become TikTok, let it be. I rather not have anyone seeing my posts than doing slave video work just to please IG. There’s a reason why I don’t have a TikTok account either. Video-bites just don’t interest me. At all.

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