Instagram's focus is shifting away from its photo-sharing roots and toward the TikTok-dominated world of entertainment and video.
Instagram's CEO Adam Mosseri revealed that Facebook has opted to transform its app by focusing on full-screen video content and recommended video feeds, claiming that it is no longer a photo-sharing app. Adam Mosseri discussed the app's future in a 2:26 minute video posted to Twitter (of all places).
In his video, he confirmed that Facebook will begin testing new "full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video," and that the company will "experiment with a number of things in this space over the coming months." Mosseri stated that people use Instagram to be entertained, that there is "stiff competition," and that there is "more to do."
In the video, he discusses some Instagram changes and experiments that are in the works. One option is to show users recommendations for topics they aren't interested in, and to adjust their algorithm based on what they choose.
"We're no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app", Mosseri admitted as he announced the huge changes. "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."
Many people, including Time's Alex Fitzpatrick, took to the internet to express their displeasure. Fitzpatrick stated that "every day it becomes clearer why Systrom and Krieger left," referring to Instagram's founders who left shortly after the company was acquired by Facebook. The public outcry over Fitzpatrick's tweet was so powerful that Mosseri jumped in to try to clarify his comments, stating "To be clear, I meant "we're not just a photo-sharing app." I might need to do more than one take next time...", but the damage had already been done for some, with one photographer responding, "Thank you for saying it loud that Instagram for photographers is very much dead. It's now some version of TikTok trying to become YouTube."
Mosseri did not provide a more specific time frame for when testing of these changes might begin, nor did he specify who will receive them.