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Instagram sheds its ‘square photo-sharing app’ tag

It looks all set focus more on videos to take on “stiff competition” from TikTok and YouTube
Instagram will put more emphasis on video in the coming months.

The Telegraph   |   Published 01.07.21, 09:25 PM

Instagram will focus more on videos to take on “stiff competition” from TikTok and YouTube, Instagram head Adam Mosseri has said.

“Let’s be honest. There’s some really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger and there’s lots of other upstarts as well. And so 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,” Mosseri said in a video message.


In the next few weeks and months, Instagram will start experimenting more in the space of recommendations, which means showing you things in the feed that you may not be following yet. Also videos will be more immersive through a full-screen experience.

This is a shift for the platform, which users so far has seen as an outlet for largely browsing through square-sized images from friends and accounts they follow. The change will bring them more in direct competition with TikTok, which Instagram has taken on with the launch of its Reels feature.

Instagram’s experiments with algorithmic additions inside the main feed has been talked about before, but the idea of basing them off of topics that users can select is new. The app has been offering full-screen video experiences for a while for content posted to IGTV, Reels, and Stories, but now the push will be to embrace video more than before.

At the same time, reports are coming in about how Instagram is trying to build its version of Twitter’s Super Follows (allows users to charge their followers for access to additional content, and the ability to create and join groups based around specific interests). The feature, if it is true, will allow creators to publish exclusive content for their fans, likely to be made accessible with a subscription payment of some kind. The possible future feature “Exclusive Stories” was dug up by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, who often finds unreleased features in the code of mobile apps.

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