Instagram will be more and more for videos, says its boss

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri posted a video to respond to the numerous criticisms received in recent weeks following some glaring changes in the functioning of the social network, which are making photos more and more marginal than video content.

Mosseri admitted that the new system, shown in the form of a test only to a part of Instagram subscribers, is still not working properly and needs to be improved. At the same time, he confirmed that the choice to profoundly change the application has now been taken, without giving much the idea of ​​wanting to review some decisions that according to various observers are leading to a “TikTokization” of the social network: no longer based on photos of friends, but on viral videos from content creators.

In a two-minute long video aimed at people subscribed to Instagram, Mosseri said:

There is a lot going on on Instagram right now. We are experiencing some changes for the application. And consequently many have communicated their concerns to us. […] First, if you see a new full-screen version of the feed, or have heard of it, know it’s a test. It’s an experiment for a limited number of users, and the idea is that a full-screen experience, not just for videos but also for photos, can be more fun and engaging. But I want to be clear: it’s not very good at the moment, and we need to work on improving it before making it available to the rest of the Instagram community.

Mosseri then explained that he had received many worried comments on the choice of privileging videos over photos in the feed, that is, in the main section where you mostly see the content shared by the people you follow. Instagram was born with the idea of ​​being able to apply photographic filters and share images, but after the introduction of Stories (which had previously adopted Snapchat) and Reel (short videos inspired by TikTok), photos have always assumed a role more marginal, especially following changes in the algorithms that determine what content is viewed by each user.

Mosseri also defended this point, namely the increasingly intrusive presence in the feeds of content published by people of whom you are not a follower, selected and recommended by the algorithm, compared to that of pages and friends that you have chosen to follow.

In his message, Mosseri argued that the photos will continue to exist on Instagram, but using formulations that hint at their presence out of sight:

I’m getting a lot of worried messages about photos and how we’re shifting the focus to videos. I want to be clear: we will continue to keep the photos, they are part of our story, I love the photos and I know many of you love them. That said, I have to be honest: I really believe that Instagram will increasingly become a place for videos.

Mosseri’s message received numerous comments, which were added to those of the past few days from Instagram users and some of its most important influencers. On Monday Kylie Jenner, who has more than 360 million followers on the social network, had posted an image with the words: «Make Instagram Instagram again. (Stop trying to be TikTok, I want to see the cute photos of my friends) ». The message was then picked up by several other influencers including Kim Kardashian, Jenner’s half-sister, the seventh most followed person on the social network.

Jenner had done something similar in early 2018, when he criticized Snapchat for introducing some new features that made it more cumbersome to use. The changes were not liked by many users and put the company that manages the application in difficulty, which would later lose about 1.3 billion dollars of its market value.

Instagram continues to be one of the most used social networks in the world, but Mosseri and the other managers of Meta, the holding that also controls Facebook, fear that the strong competition from TikTok could lead to a rapid loss of subscribers and of relevance, especially among users. younger. The choice to make the app similar to TikTok could, however, alienate the historical users of Instagram, who had already received the Stories with some difficulty, now the most used tool of the application.