TikTok changed the social media space with its short-form video content that quickly catapulted it to stardom and was downloaded by billions of users. Ever since TikTok became popular, Instagram has been leaning into the short video craze, but most fans just want the Meta-owned platform to go back to what it was best known for, showing pictures posted by your close friends, family, and people that you follow.
Among the disgruntled users is the second most followed person on Instagram, Kylie Jenner, who took to the platform to raise her complaints. “Make Instagram Instagram Again… Stop trying to be TikTok, I just want to see cute photos of my friends. Sincerely, everyone” her post read.
Soon after, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, set the platform’s stance clear that the platform is evolving and becoming more video-centric. “I need to be honest. I do believe that more and more of Instagram is gonna become video over time,” Mosseri said.
Mosseri explains that the app will continue to support photos, however, user behaviour is driving the company to tap into video content. He adds that the sharing and viewing of videos is growing, and they have to lean into that shift.
In a clear move that copies TikTok, Instagram has seen radical changes in the past months as they try to position Reels, as a competitor to TikTok. All this is in a bid to increase the amount of time that a user spends on the app, which translates to more ads watched, and more money generated for the Meta-owned platform.
Similar changes have also been spotted on Facebook, another Meta-owned platform. Facebook’s main feed has now been tweaked and replaced with one that mixes recommendations together with your friend’s content.
Adam Mosseri concludes by asking for your feedback regarding the changes on Instagram. “There’s a lot happening on Instagram right now. I wanted to address a few things we’re working on to make Instagram a better experience. Please let me know what you think” reads his Twitter post.
Only time will tell whether shifting the focus from photo content which made them famous in the first place to video is the right choice, or this is the beginning of the end for the platform. However, what the platform has is data and user behaviour which we have no access to, so they are in a better position to make informed decisions that will ultimately make them the most money.
On the flip side, this probably creates a gap that a competitor can step in, and fill, in regard to what Instagram offered in the past before the short video craze that they want to be a part of now, took over the social media scene.