Instagram Shifts Focus To Strengthen Reels, Videos

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said Tuesday “more and more” of the social media platform will become video-focused over time, defending Instagram from widespread complaints about changes that have made it more like competitor TikTok—a move that had angered creators like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, two of the most-followed people on the app.

Last week, parent company Meta introduced changes to Instagram’s apps: Videos under 15 minutes will be posted as Reels, the platform’s video format, and Reels are now being promoted and shown to others on Instagram, a concept very similar to TikTok’s For You Page. 

As Instagram shifts from its roots as a photo-based app to focus more on video, several big-name creators have spoken out: Kardashian, who has 326 million followers, and Jenner, who has 360 million, shared a post asking to “Make Instagram Instagram Again” instead of a reproduction of TikTok—a stance backed by many other creators.

Mosseri posted a video Tuesday responding to the backlash and predicting “more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time,” as that’s where users are putting more of their attention.

He said the platform “will still support photos” while it “leans in” to focusing on video. 

Instagram “is going to try to get better” at recommending content on users’ feeds—a feature popularized by TikTok—to help creators “reach more people” and for followers to discover new accounts, Mosseri said. 

Mosseri said the social media platform will test a “full-screen” display for photos and videos for some users, another change that could make Instagram resemble TikTok, but it’s “not yet good” enough to be fully adapted by Instagram.