The head of the Instagram platform, Adam Mosseri, announced the social network's plans to start showing users recommended videos in full-screen mode in the feed. The platform is looking to get involved in entertainment and video after seeing the success of competitors like Tik Tok and YouTube.
Mosseri said in, we're also experimenting with how to embrace video more broadly, including full-screen video, immersive video, and entertainment video. And you see us doing a number of things, or trying a number of things in this area, over the coming months.
Mosseri specifically clarified that Instagram has plans to display videos in full-screen mode to users in the feed. This includes videos that users recommend, including those from accounts they don't follow.
He said users will start seeing Instagram experience these changes over the coming months. We are no longer a photo-sharing app or a square-shaped photo-sharing app. Rather, it is a general entertainment app driven by algorithms and videos.
This marks a major turnaround for Instagram, which until now was a staple app where users could see square-sized photos from their friends and accounts they follow. The change in content display puts Instagram in more direct competition with China-owned TikTok, a startup in the social app market.
Mosseri specifically highlighted Tik Tok as well as YouTube, which is owned by Google, as serious competitors and the reasons for these changes. There is some serious competition at the moment. Tik Tok is huge and YouTube is bigger. And there are plenty of other startups, too.
Instagram has made competing with TikTok a priority by launching Reels in August 2020, a short video feature that allows platform users to create content with overlaying sound effects and enhanced realism.
Mosseri said: People are looking to Instagram for entertainment, there is a lot of competition and there is more to do. We have to accept that, and that means change.
More recently, information has emerged about Instagram's experiments with algorithmic plugins within the feed. But the idea of building it based on topics that users can select seems better for the platform.
Instagram intends to be more public about what it does and why in the increasingly competitive field of social media.