It seems like there is no way to “Make Instagram Instagram Again”…
In the battle of social media giants, every platform has to always be on its toes to stay relevant in the market, attract new users and still be better than its competitors.
With a bunch of changes coming and going, a platform can easily leave its users dissatisfied and pissed.
This is the case with Instagram, which has been introducing a bunch of changes to its platform throughout. One can’t even keep up.
The Meta-owned company is now making all stops to push into short videos, a market that is currently dominated by TikTok on mobile.
Moving to short video format – Reels
The recent changes by the company to bank more on video content (Reels to be specific) and ‘want-to-be’ like TikTok have left regular users and still photographers in the cold. Whether you like this or not, the company has clearly decided this is where its future lies.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri made an announcement last year that the company would double down on video and focus on Reels, and this indicates that this may have always been the plan.
New full screen interface & dark mode
Another major change in the subject is the new full-screen layout/interface change (which you can preview here), which has been available to a number of users so far.
Although it has not rolled out to all users yet, the changes seem in line with its plans to move away from just being a photo-sharing app to becoming the next TikTok by feeding users with video content as much as possible.
That means posts now appear in a larger 9:16 ratio and take up more of the screen. For a video creator, the new interface is accommodating, but if you’re sharing photos, then it’s a different story.
“We’re moving Instagram to a place where video is a bigger part of the home experience, where content is more immersive – it takes up more of the screen,” said Mosseri.
This layout update also comes with the change of the background to black.
Users usually get to choose whether they want apps to appear in dark or light mode, but the app won’t allow you to switch between the two and will just remain in dark mode.
Video uploads to be shared as Reels
Instagram recently announced that video posts will now be shared as Reels and will let other users use any of your public posts (including still images) in their own Reels.
By default, the platform will give users the option to either upload video content to feed/IGTV or Reels, but now all video posts shorter than 15 minutes will be shared as reels. Videos posted prior to this change will remain as videos and won’t become reels.
Overall, this means there won’t be any difference between Reels and video posts, and the tabs on your profile will be merged. Reels will no longer be restricted to ‘short’ videos (which were previously limited to 90 seconds max), and all videos will be shown in vertical format or full-screen orientation.
This will mean when you’re creating videos for Instagram, you might also want to consider shooting them in this format.
Anyone can now Remix your Reels and Photos
If your account is public, anyone will be able to use any of your public posts to create their own Reel. Until now, users have only been able to remix Reels, but they’ll be able to use photos too. Luckily, you are able to go to settings (Privacy) to completely turn off this Remix feature to prevent your photos from turning up in strange mashups.
Now it’s up to you…
The above changes bring a new experience to different users, and that seems to be Instagram’s plan in taking this direction.
Some users will find it exciting, while some will totally be against it. But at the same time, it risks losing what made it unique from the start, becoming more like other social media platforms. Instagram revealed that Reels is its the fastest-growing content format, hence the decision to refine it more. If you’re a current user of the platform, it has become acceptable that the platform is all about video, so it’s up to you to stick to it or opt out.