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Opinion Piece: Has Instagram got it wrong?

It has been a few months since the Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced the ongoing plans at HQ to focus their roadmaps on moving away from being, primarily a photo-sharing app.

Instead, they will look to enhance their offerings in FOUR key areas.

Creators, video, shopping and messaging.

Mosseri said in his update (July ‘21) that the pandemic had: “accelerated the shift of commerce from offline to online by a number of years, and we’re trying to lean into that trend” through its shopping features.

The success of TikTok, YouTube and other video-based platforms are the competition driving these changes at Instagram, yet, I still need convincing that this is the right way forward.

My observations at the time were that the reaction to the announcement was mixed from both those earning a living on the platform and those that merely engage and observe. The main issue? The effort required to create video content and a reluctance to not being able to engage with photos. The very reason we all came to Instagram in the first place.

I genuinely believe the resistance to the update is simple.

It is precisely because it’s NOT TikTok/Facebook/Twitter, Instagram is loved.

It’s a place to document, journal, showcase your best parts, to hide behind perfection, it’s a place of curation and longevity. It feels, to me, that Instagram are keen to run far away from their USP and I’m still not sure why.

If Instagram has in the past revealed that they code by the ‘happiness factor’ i.e. by liking something it is a visual demonstration that content has made you happy… then are they genuinely seeing more uplift on reels and video?

Considering that across the accounts I run, reels have never outperformed static content, I am yet to see the proof.

I’d love to know your thoughts!