Instagram Is 'No Longer A Photo-Sharing App', As It Pivots To Videos

Instagram, play button

When it comes to anything that involves the web, things can change extremely fast. Because of this, apps and other online services should adapt quickly.

Instagram is one of the most popular social media app in the world. But seeing that the trend is shifting away from photos, the company said that it too wants to embrace video as its content of choice. That, according to head of Instagram Adam Mosseri.

"We're no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app," Mosseri said.

In other words, Instagram doesn't see itself as a platform where people go to share photos anymore.

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.

TikTok and YouTube have seen explosive success with influencer-driven video content. The two platforms have emerged as serious competitors for Instagram, stealing away many eyeballs from its platform.

Instagram has the exact content to compete. What it needs, is only to pivot.

"Let's be honest, there's some really serious competition right now," Mosseri said, adding that "TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger and there are a lot of other upstarts as well."

In order to stay competitive, Instagram has to embrace that aspect of itself, "and that means change."

And the one way Instagram is changing, is with it providing even more recommendations. Also, Instagram plans to focusing on full-screen and immersive content.

“We’re also going to be experimenting with how do we embrace video more broadly — full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video,” Mosseri said.

In short, Mosseri is describing Instagram to “lean in” to the entertainment trend and video, to become more like TikTok.

And that is the only way for Instagram to remain relevant.

“You’ll see us do a number of things, or experiment with a number of things in this space over the coming months.”

YouTube has been in the video-streaming business for all its life. And TikTok has introduced a novel way for people to consume video contents, by highlighting trends and pop culture.

Both YouTube and TikTok have exploded in growth, most notably during the 'COVID-19' coronavirus pandemic.

Instagram itself is no slouch. But it was only the most relevant, before TikTok stepped in.

It should be noted though, that Instagram is already eyeing on these changes for quite a while.

For example, back in 2020, the social media launched Reels, which allows Instagram users to create content with overlaid audio similar to what’s been happening on TikTok.

But in this case, Mosseri isn't shy about praising the competition, and even directly named TikTok and YouTube at one point, and suggested ways Instagram needs to adapt to compete against them.

Mosseri is upfront it is about the changes, and this is not very usual for a company that has a backer big enough to swallow almost everyone on the internet.

Instagram has planned to utilize videos to the fullest, but only took this amount of time to consider pivoting.