Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced yesterday, June 30, that the social network plans to depart from its usual “square photo-sharing” setup.
The change in content presentation will likely align Instagram to its competitor TikTok, an upstart in the social app market.
After the success of TikTok and Youtube in the market, Mosseri said that the company is now leaning towards entertainment and video.
“People are looking to Instagram to be entertained, there’s stiff competition and there’s more to do… We have to embrace that, and that means change,” added Mosseri.
Square-sized images were Instagram’s signature setup, setting Instagram apart from other social media platforms.
In the coming months, Instagram users will start to see more of Instagram’s experiments and changes.
Changes include showing algorithms and full-screen, recommended videos in users’ feeds — even those videos from accounts that they do not follow. Instagram will also be more focused on four key areas: creators, video, shopping and messaging.
Furthermore, developer Alessandro Paluzzi spotted a new Instagram feature called “Exclusive Stories” that allows creators to post exclusive content to their Instagram stories that will only be made available to their subscribers.
#Instagram is working on stories for fan clubs, exclusive stories visible only to fan club members 👀
ℹ️ It is not possible to take screenshots of exclusive stories. pic.twitter.com/GAYvRFVBss
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) June 21, 2021
This new feature shares some similarities to Twitter’s “Super Follows.” “Exclusive Stories” are differentiated by a purple tag, similar to how Close Friends posts have green tags.
In August of 2020, Instagram started gearing its interface to mirror TikTok’s by launching Reels, a short-form video feature that allows users to create content with overlaid audio and augmented reality effects — much like most of the videos seen on the latter platform.
Mosseri also considered “exploring” subscriptions to allow Instagram influencers to monetize the platform.
If ever the Instagram monetization would be confirmed, it would be an opportunity for the content creators to earn from their craft.
But for its users, these Instagram changes do not give as much benefits as what it would give to influencers. People have openly criticized the proposed changes, saying that Instagram must remain as a “photo-sharing app” as it originally was.
We look on Instagram for photos. Just like people look on TikTok for video. You are screwing your base and what built this app to be what it is today.
— Taylor Pryor 🌪 (@TaylorPryor3) June 30, 2021
You are forcing instagram to be somethings its not and something it should never be, you force reels upon people in an attempt to combat tiktok, and other platforms. I dont see other platforms banning pages left and right like instagrams system does.
— Cody (@IHNM96v2) June 30, 2021
I don’t think anyone wants these changes you speak of.
— Brett (@brflux) July 1, 2021
— 📸 El Fotógrafo 📸 (@El__fotografo) July 1, 2021
I’ve never seen a company be so against it’s users like Facebook is. They continue to make changes that only benefit them and not the actual users of their app. Please wake up. You can start by reading the replies to this tweet so you see how nobody wants ANY of these changes. https://t.co/kJI40LsVsj
— Zeke Neat (@zekeneat) July 1, 2021
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