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Instagram Shifting Focus from Photos to Videos and Shopping

Instagram shifting focus.

A recent statement from Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, confirmed the app's intended shift in focus beyond the initial simple photo-sharing use we all were familiar with. This Facebook-owned application has undergone serious changes in the past 2 years. And with this, there has clearly been extensive planning for further future changes behind the scenes.

Based on these public statements, the expected changes will elevate the platform from the obvious photo-sharing application we have all been used to, to a fully functional immersive social platform with advanced video sharing, shopping, and messaging capabilities.

Even though the release dates of these planned changes haven’t been confirmed, the mere fact that the Instagram head is vocal about the updates means the updates will occur sooner rather than later. This comes amidst the increasing rivalry between Instagram and TikTok over influence for online eCommerce.

What Instagram Seeks to Become

Confirming the publicized statement, Adam Mosseri outlined four key areas that the platform wants to expand and venture into. These areas include improving monetization, bettering video services for content creators, shopping functionalities, and messaging abilities.

Improved Monetization

For the first segment, which is Instagram’s monetization, Mosseri confirmed that individuals are often more recognized than businesses or institutions on the platform. Thus current monetization algorithms should be changed to favor individual creators as they drive the traffic.

Video Services

TikTok usage surged in popularity in the early months of 2020, thanks to its random, quirky, and creative videos. This made it a perfect escape app for those in quarantine and lockdown, with most users being Gen Z. However, this isn’t the only generation that loves TikTok. Millennials and other generations soon followed, and Instagram noticed, which led to the introduction of Instagram reels.

Therefore, even though Instagram has integrated various video services, especially reels and stories, into the app, Mosseri wants to go beyond this. Developers are looking for ways to embrace videos broadly, with full-screen, immersive, entertaining, and mobile-friendly videos.

Instagram Shopping

Within the shopping marketplace, Instagram doesn’t currently have much to offer. However,  this is due to change soon. Facebook, which is the mother of Instagram, has a well-established marketplace. There is a high chance that Instagram is looking to join this fold as well. This comes at a time when the pandemic has forced a lot of physical business into online models, and Instagram is looking to capitalize on this.

Like Facebook’s shopping segment, Instagram’s model will create a streamlined way that users can discover products with ease. It will enable them to browse various shops, find editors’ picks and other tools. Note that this won’t be Instagram’s first eCommerce feature.

Already, the platform has introduced eCommerce tools such as stories stickers, Instagram checkout, shoppable posts, shopping from creators, and live shopping. The goal is to refine these tools. This will then make shopping from the platform seamless. Additionally, it should empower small business owners and global brands to connect with potential customers on the app.

With these features rolling out, Instagram will soon become a one-stop shop for every user's needs. From advertising, selling your products, to connecting with an engaging community.

Messaging Services

Lastly, the application’s messaging service is going to transform, however, the exact details of these changes remain scarce.

The Future of Instagram

Instagram, which was once a popular photo-sharing app, is gradually evolving into a full-scale eCommerce network that brands and creators can leverage. As mentioned, even though Instagram's shift in focus doesn’t have exact public release dates, there is a huge assumption that developers are pushing hard to get them live as soon as possible.

With TikTok’s explosion in popularity, it is evident that Instagram is feeling somehow threatened. As such, its push for advanced video content will probably be leading as other initiatives follow closely.


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