Instagram rose to fame when still images were the most shared things on the web. At that time, the social media platform stood tall by allowing users to post their memories and compositions as a sort of interactive online photo album.
The rise of Instagram coincided with the development of smartphone cameras, and as users became more snap happy with their devices, Instagram provided them with a means to share their content.
And by adding filters and editing tools, Instagram managed to successfully cemented its fame.
But things changed since the arrival of Stories.
Since that time, Instagram’s popularity with younger users, the evolution of technology, and the availability of video options via mobile devices, made Instagram an ideal vehicle for parent company Meta to compete with Snapchat, and later, TikTok.
Stories quickly became a key focus for growth at the app.
And that, according to Adam Mosseri, was a mistake.
"I think we were overfocused on video in 2022 and pushed ranking too far and basically showed too many videos and not enough photos. We’ve since balanced, so things like how often someone likes photos versus videos and how often someone comments on photos versus videos are roughly equal, which is a good sign that things are balanced. And so, to the degree that there is more video on Instagram over time, it’s going to be because that’s what’s driving overall engagement more."
"But photos are always going to be an important part of what we do. And there are always going to be people who love and are interested in finding photos on Instagram and elsewhere. And I want to make sure that we’re very clear about that."
Mosseri said this when he was hosting a weekly Q&A with users, and that he was pressured about the company’s focus on video.
Instagram’s seemingly was in an identity crisis.
Is it still a photo-sharing app? Or is Stories the focus? Has Reels become the key thing" Or is Instagram just trying to make it that way to quash another potential competitor?
The app has certainly shifted its focus from photos to videos.
And this is a turn off for many long-term, avid Instagram purists.
Because of this mistake, Mosseri promised that the company was committed to taking a more balanced approach going forward.
Instagram wants photographers to know that it hasn’t abandoned them.
According to Mosseri, "how often someone likes photos versus videos and how often someone comments on photos versus videos are roughly equal."
What this means, Mosseri noted that Instagram is not forgetting its past, and what made it a popular platform in the first place.
He wanted photos to remain a key focus for the app, and that maintaining the right balance in this respect will be key.
Mosseri’s comment should be considered good news for Instagram users who’ve long been pushing for the app to avoid straying too far from its roots.
Mosseri also spoke about spam on the platform, saying that "we definitely have spam and bots on Instagram. We’re doing our best to reduce it. I’m particularly worried about comments right now; it’s something that we’re actually actively looking into and hope to improve over the course of the year."