As we talked about in our blog Create an Instagram Before It’s Too Late, Instagram is vital when it comes to connecting with your target audiences. In fact, around 130 million of the one billion users click on the link for more details when shown an advertisement on Instagram. However, this may all change when they roll out the new update.
In this new update, Instagram is planning on focusing on four areas: creators, video, shopping, and messaging. They want to focus on creators because there has been a shift from big institutions to smaller branded individuals; video because this type of content has shown to be most engaged with across the internet; shopping because the pandemic accelerated our change from brick-and-mortar to online shopping, and messaging because the way we connect throughout the years has digitized while moving from different social media feeds to private messaging. However, the biggest change has to do with the video sector.
The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said on his Twitter and Instagram, “We’re no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app.” He goes on to mention that people use Instagram to be entertained, and Instagram wants to fulfill that need especially with their major competitors being TikTok and YouTube.
One of the major differences we will see on the app is what Instagram is calling “recommendations”. Recommendations are profiles and content that the user might not be following yet which will be shown through the user’s feed. Another change is going to be Topics. Topics will be categories, or topics, in which the user wants to see more or less of. Lastly, they will be experimenting with how video will be shown, as in full screen, immersive, mobile-first, entertainment, and more.
The audience seems to be upset about this change with some replies to Mosseri’s original tweet saying, “stop experimenting,” “stop it,” and “Stop breaking your app & making it useless to the people who helped make it big”. Comments on his Instagram post show the same sentiments with users saying, “I think this is a big misguided mistake. Some of your consumers still want and appreciate photo content”; “You guys have ruined Instagram”; and “Nooooooooo! I still really enjoy photo content”.
It is not very clear how Instagram plans on becoming a more generalized app driven by videos and algorithms, but what is clear is that it no longer will be the square photo-sharing we all know and love. With many users expressing their discontent being about the change, it will be interesting to see what actually happens and how the audience truly reacts.