Head of Instagram: ‘It is no longer a photo-sharing app’

Chloe Bucknell

The competition we like to call ‘Battle of the Platforms’ is heating up as Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, declares the app is no longer focusing on photo-sharing.

Instagram is stepping away from its roots of sharing square photos and allowing its users to connect with family and friends.

The marketplace for entertaining, fast-paced apps is getting extremely crowded. With the rise and some would argue takeover of TikTok and YouTube, aka video content, Instagram is desperately trying to keep up.

Instagram is not attracting the level of entertainment in comparison to their other competitors. Photo sharing is no longer giving them the niche they need to stand out which is why they have announced these changes…

But what does this mean for brands, influencers, and others alike?


    prioritising eCommerce businesses

    They are prioritising the ‘entertainment and shopping’ value of the app; this makes the content shared easier to monetise and capitalises on the post-pandemic online shopping trend.

    This is great news if you’re an eCommerce brand and as a social media agency. Our in-house social media experts recommend levelling up your Instagram game now!

    Start posting lots more video content, engage with your customer community and run Instagram advertisements.

    It is inevitable that Instagram ads will improve. Therefore, leverage this feature and launch your ads as soon as possible.

    Need help launching your ads? We specialise in planning & executing Ads in line with your goals, whether that be to drive sales, generate awareness or boost engagement. We’ll ensure your Ads are in front of the right people at the right time.

    Instagram eCommerce Shopping Feature

    private messaging (aka DMs)

    How we interact on Instagram has considerably changed over the past five years.

    Where we used to comment on posts and reply to stories, this has now completely shifted to private messaging. For example, most users are now DM’ing someone a funny post rather than tagging them in it.

    Instagram will now be improving DM interactions; however, they have not detailed how.

    In the meantime, we highly recommend engaging with your followers via private messenger and make sure to respond to every DM you receive.

    If Instagram is planning to make these changes, the algorithm is going to favour these features. Get one step ahead of the algorithm and be present on these features.

      focusing on the influencer/content creator industry 

      One of the company’s biggest priorities is creators and helping them earn a living with new monetisation features.

      Guidelines on working with brands will soon be changing and it will be easier for influencers to step into the creator industry.

      If you’re an influencer, make sure to stay tuned on these updates and if you’re a brand… now is your time to work with influencers!

        recommendation feature

        The app will soon start to insert more shopping and shorter video content such as Reels into the main feed.

        However, they will be suggested posts, therefore showing content that they are not already following.

        The algorithm will feature content based on what you already watch and who you already follow/engage with.

        This content will be categorised so users can select what they want to see more of on their recommended feed.

        So, to grow your reach and show up for your target audience you need to niche your content. This is so the algorithm clearly knows what category you fit in to!

        Whether its video content, carousel posts or stories, make sure you’re following all the latest trends but make them your own.

          last but by no means least, video content has officially taken over!

          Instagram Video Content

          Instagram plans to embrace video content more broadly, stepping away from short form and focusing on full screen/immersive content.

          This will be mobile first video, therefore optimised for mobile viewers.

          Full screen video content will also begin to show up on the main feed.

          For both brands and creators, we strongly encourage you to add in video content as often as you can. It is clearly going to be preferred by the app and it is best to start now so the algorithm will favour your account.

          It is important to remember, you need to prioritise immersive, full-screen mobile video. Therefore, create video content that is optimised for mobile devices e.g., 9:16 dimension.

          Also keep in mind, Instagram want to increase their ‘entertainment focus’ through video content!

          And there you have it, all the changes Instagram plans to make soon.

          But we want to know what you think… Is Instagram losing sight of why people originally fell in love with this ‘photo sharing’ app? Perhaps you’re a very happy creator or brand? We’d love to hear from you via our social media platforms.


          Elizabeth Price

          Elizabeth Price

          Marketing Communications Manager