Why Is Everyone Talking About <em>Instagram?</em>

Why Is Everyone Talking About Instagram?

August 05, 2021

There’s nothing like getting an Instagram update straight from the horse’s mouth – well the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri. He recently made the bold (and surprisingly controversial) statement that Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing app 😱.

Written by our copywriter Katie Dennison

For social addicts like myself, his decision to prioritise video comes as no surprise. The popularity of video apps like Tik Tok proves that people are turning to social media for entertainment purposes. Instagram has been moving steadily towards video for years, adding features like Stories, Reels and IGTV to entice users away from their competitors.

Instagram right now

Do you remember when Instagram launched in 2010? The ability to share heavily filtered mobile photos was what made it special! Those of us without a fancy camera or photography degree could pretend to be professionals. Actual photographers and artists could display their art to reach a larger audience. And it’s clear from the comments under Mosseri’s Instagram video that a lot of people want to maintain that aspect of the app.

Just how popular is video content anyway?

The commentors above are fighting a losing battle. Video has been gathering steam for years. Between 2016 and 2019, the average time spent watching videos online increased by a whopping 59%! Most of us probably don’t even realise how much time has passed while we’re sucked into a YouTube black hole. Mosseri also claims his internal research reveals that the number one reason people use Instagram is to be entertained, with Tik Tok’s success proving video is the best form of entertainment.

So, what kind of rollout are we talking about?

Mosseri’s focus is on creating a full-screen experience on mobile and improving the recommendations portion of the app, gradually moving away from Instagram’s signature square style, filling up more space to eliminate distractions. Tik Tok has always been full screen, and its recommendations algorithm is notoriously accurate… like it knows you better than you know yourself – so it will be interesting to see how Instagram tries to match this witchcraft.

What does all this mean for brands?

Any company with a strong social media team or agency will already be aware of the unique power of video, but Mosseri’s statement is a reminder to put your money where your mouth is! Using your budget on video content, even if it’s only a few pieces a month, can be far more rewarding than spreading it over multiple text or image-based posts. We would also recommend re-evaluating how you measure success on social media platforms. Video statistics require a different approach – views and average duration vs likes and reactions.

Let’s talk strategy

With all the apps moving towards a full-screen video viewing experience, it becomes more of a priority to capture high-quality content in portrait mode. The good news is that you’ll be able to share this video format across multiple platforms – Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Mosseri’s promise of experimentation is also a reminder to stay informed of each change as it crops up. We don’t want to misuse a feature or miss out on a new trend as the platform grows and changes.\

Written by our copywriter Katie Dennison