A few weeks ago Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said, “Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app, but instead is a general entertainment app” in an Instagram Live that sent the media, business owners, and social media managers into somewhat of a tizzy.
While everyone was freaking out, we were thinking… Cue the shot of Joey and Phoebe in Season 5 of FRIENDS acting like they didn’t already know about Chandler and Monica—
(Side note, this was such a great FRIENDS moment. And Season 5 is arguably the best…)
Anyway, while media outlets really took this and ran with it, the truth is, Mosseri didn’t really tell us anything that we didn’t really already know.
Instagram hasn’t been primarily a photo sharing app for square shaped photos for some time now. Stories, IGTV, Reels, and other forms of video have been extremely important on the app for a while. Mosseri did say that photos aren’t going anywhere. He’s simply saying that they’re not the sole function of the app anymore. So really, not much is changing!
If you’re still primarily sharing photos, that’s awesome! Let’s all take a moment to breathe and let’s get into what he DID say.
What Are the Major Current Areas of Focus for the App?
In the Instagram Live, Mosseri stated that the app will be focussing on four key areas going forward: Video, Shopping, Messaging, and Creators.
“People are looking to Instagram to be entertained, there’s stiff competition and there’s more to do. Then we have to embrace that. And that means change,” Mosseri said.
1. Video—This one’s pretty self explanatory. Videos, specifically Reels, are extremely important in the algorithm and a great way to be seen by a much wider audience. It’s also no surprise that anyone wanting to grow their Instagram today needs to be on Reels.
2. Shopping—During the video, Mosseri mentioned that it was in fact the COVID-19 Pandemic that “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.
Instagram debuted the Shopping in Reels feature last December which allows sellers and influencers to tag their products for sale within their Reels (while the ability to tag products in the main feed has been available for some time now).
3. Messaging—Instagram also launched the Rooms feature earlier this year, which allows up to four users to chat live with one another simultaneously.
4. Creators—And finally, last month, Instagram unveiled features to help creators monetize their audience.
What Should You Do Now?
Here’s what you can do:
1. Keep posting your photos! The main feed isnt going to disappear. Photos are still (and will continue to be) a big part of Instagram.
2. Dive into more video. Whether it’s Stories or Reels, we think it’s definitely time you try it out. Start anywhere… just start! And have fun with it.
3. If you’re a creator or product-based business, set up and utilize the shopping features!
4. If your business is service-based, sync up with others in your community or in your field to chat and educate your audiences about your services or industry!
Instagram hasn’t been primarily a photo sharing app in a while, so anyone panicking is just “manufacturing rage,” as Sharon McMahon (AKA @sharonsaysso on Instagram) would say.
BTW If you’re not following Sharon, you’re going to want to get on that. She’s the best.
And hey, if you’re a little worried that you need to produce more video content for Instagram but don’t know how, we’re always here to help.