Instagram first introduced video posts in 2013 and has since added Stories videos, IGTV, Instagram Live, and Reels.
According to company head Adam Mosseri, the app now has its sights set on more video content, including full-screen and recommended videos in users’ feeds. “We’re no longer a square photo-sharing app,” he said in an Instagram post. “The number one reason that people say they use Instagram, in research, is to be entertained.”
Mosseri’s announcement coincides with TikTok’s decision to stretch the length of its video format from one minute to three. In addition to TikTok, he cited YouTube as competitive motivation for Instagram’s repositioning.
Some influencers and photographers have decried the app’s shift to video, suggesting its algorithm favours the format and leaves the app’s OG community behind. “This app is now forcing us to translate our work into videos,” wrote Montreal-based creator Audrey Rivet in response to Mosseri. “How about older creators/artists? Not everyone has access to equipment and/or knowledge about videography.”
Changes to the app have also revived criticism that it seems too similar to Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012. “Instagram is quickly becoming the Facebook app with a different skin. Was destined to happen after the founders left,” wrote The Verge reporter Alex Heath in a Twitter post about updates to the feed.
well a whole genre doesn’t sound irrelevant to me… but I agree we need to change things up or risk that being the real story
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) June 24, 2021