According to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, Instagram is no longer a Photo Sharing App. 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 forthcoming 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. They 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 that the company wants to embrace video more broadly. It no longer wants to be thought of as the square Photo Sharing App.
This represents a drastic shift for Instagram, which has until now primarily been an app where users can see square-sized images from their friends and accounts they follow. The change in content presentation will align Instagram in more direct competition to Chinese-owned TikTok, an upstart in the social app market. Mosseri highlighted TikTok as well as YouTube, which is owned by Google, as serious competitors and reasons for these changes.