Attention Instagram fans. Adam Mosseriwho runs Facebook’s own Social media appHe shared a video with his followers on Wednesday that was essentially a new Instagram update – albeit a high-level, forward-looking look at what’s to come. In short, the app you know and love is about to try some radically different things. For example, viewing recommended videos in full screen mode in user feeds. Even if the app extends existing functions that complement its core functions, such as B. Shopping.

“We are no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app,” says Mosseri once at in his video message. A consequence, of course, of the insurgent threat from competing apps like TikTok, shared clips that often flood Instagram users’ feeds. Accordingly, Instagram plans to experiment “how we embrace video in general,” said Mosseri. “Full screen, immersive, entertaining mobile-first video. You will see us doing a number of things or experimenting with a number of things in this area over the coming months. “

New Instagram update

If this all sounds a bit like the all-but-the-kitchen-sink approach that characterized Facebook’s growth, it should.

Of course, Facebook initially focused on status updates. From there it grew into a voracious blob of amoeba. Soak up every new function it could and put into the product, smooth fit or not. Facebook’s hamburger menu on the side, for example, is still cluttered with options and tabs that the average user never touches. Nevertheless, Mosseri and the rest of the Instagram team want to cram as many additional functions as possible into Instagram. To hide the users inside, of course. So that they don’t go and open something else, like the TikTok app.

“Be honest,” continued Mosseri. “Right now there is really serious competition. TikTok is huge, YouTube is bigger, and there are a lot of other upstarts. ”The time was, you mainly used the app to take a picture. You applied filters to it and shared the result with friends. Now Instagram wants a big bite of the same apple that Snapchat and TikTok, among others, nibble on.

Creators, Video, Shopping, and Messaging

Check out Mosseri’s Instagram update above. For “normal” users, 50% of the new categories Instagram is most focused on right now don’t really apply to them. Most people fire short stories on the Instagram app and maybe experiment with reels. And possibly IGTV to go live. And messaging, sure, but who else needs one? Intelligence service right now in your life? Between iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and the like, this area is pretty saturated. But sure, maybe more stickers and fun features make Instagram Messages a stickier place to hang out.

The cynic could look at all of this and feel that we are witnessing the same thing that happened to Facebook. Too much focus on boxing out the competition with a dubious effect. Instagram, for example, launched Reels in August 2020 as a kind of TikTok knockoff. But as mentioned above, your own Instagram feed is probably still full of TikToks. In other words, there isn’t much anecdotal slowdown there.

Even more worrying Piper Sandler’s Spring 2021 Poll asked young people about their favorite social media apps. Snapchat was the winner (with 31% of the vote), followed by TikTok with 30%. Instagram followed behind both at 24%.

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