Coming soon, your main Instagram feed will contain a combination of image posts, Stories, Reels and Video content, all displayed in a full-screen, swipe-able format much like TikTok. The platform has released a series of updates to keep up with its main competitor, TikTok, as it scrambles to retain viewers who are migrating to the short-form video app.
Instagram's most recent update allows for longer videos to be posted in Stories (formerly broken into 15-second chunks) indicating that the app intends to align all of its video formats, providing a more cohesive experience.
Changes are coming to video on Instagram— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) June 30, 2021
At Instagram we’re always trying to build new features that help you get the most out of your experience. Right now we’re focused on four key areas: Creators, Video, Shopping and Messaging. pic.twitter.com/ezFp4hfDpf
Instagram announced it would be merging its video feed posts into a single format last month, effectively retiring the IGTV format in favour of a simplified Instagram Video post, not to be confused with Reels, which remain separate. With the latest test of 60-second videos in Stories, this gives feed posts, Stories and Reels all the same post length.
That means that you’ll soon be able to cross-share your content, i.e. making it possible to post full Reels in Stories, share regular video posts as Reels, etc. Essentially, all of Instagram’s video options are being streamlined as the platform works to make it easier to post and discover video content.
One of TikTok’s strengths is the ability to suggest the best content to each user in the 'For You' feed, because it can pull from a massive array of publicly posted clips, in alignment with your preferences. Instagram has thus far been unable to do the same, as the main feed consists only of people you follow, not to mention that it doesn't open to a full-screen view like TikTok.
Previously, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri stated that Instagram is ‘no longer a photo-sharing app’, saying that people come to Instagram to be entertained, rather than to look at digital photo albums.
The combination of these statements, along with the continual updates, points to Instagram looking to establish itself as a video-sharing app, which will likely see the platform evolving towards a TikTok-style feed. This will give Instagram more insight into users’ interests, and provide an app experience that has proven favoured by younger users.
These updates mean a definite change for social media marketers, who may need to start familiarising themselves with video content sooner rather than later. Prepare for major shifts to your social media strategy in 2022!