It’s a common complaint that Instagram simply does too much stuff; critics say it’s a bloated app packed with too many features. But if you were hoping the Instagram team might eventually agree with that view and take it back to its innocent days as a simple app for sharing square photos, you’ll be disappointed.
Video is the future of Instagram, the company’s chief Adam Mosseri has confirmed this week. As the Verge reports:
Mosseri said the company is looking to lean into entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube.
He describes some upcoming changes and experiments that Instagram will be doing, including showing users recommendations for topics they’re not following and making video more immersive by offering a full-screen experience.
This is a reminder that social platforms aren’t simply products that do specific things, they’re ways of reaching a certain audience. And as that audience changes, so do the features the platforms emphasise.
Just like MTV pivoted from music videos to reality shows to stay relevant to its audience and keep selling ads, any content brand (which Instagram is) is less about what it does, and far more about who it’s for, and so this is unlikely to be the last strategic shift we’ll see from Instagram in the future.
Pour one out for square photos with filters, old timer.