Facebook’s head of Instagram announced Wednesday that the social network plans to start showing users recommended full-screen videos in their feeds.
“We’re also going to experience how we embrace video more broadly – full-screen, immersive, entertaining video for mobile devices,” Mosseri said at a video posted on Wednesday. “He will see us do a number of things or experiment with various things in this space over the next several months.”
Specifically, Mosseri said that Instagram has plans to show users full-screen videos in their feeds. This includes videos that you recommend to users, including those from accounts they haven’t followed yet. Users will start to see Instagram’s experiments with these changes in the coming months, he said.
“We are no longer a photo-sharing app or a boxy photo-sharing app,” Mosseri said.
This represents a drastic change for Instagram, which until now has been primarily an app where users can view square-sized images of their friends and the accounts they follow. The change in content presentation will align Instagram in more direct competition with Chinese-owned TikTok, an upstart in the social app market.
Mosseri specifically singled out TikTok, as well as YouTube, which is owned by Google, as serious competitors and reasons for these changes.
“Let’s be honest, there is some really serious competition right now,” he said. “TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there are so many other upstarts too.”
Instagram has already made competition with TikTok a priority by launching Reels in August 2020. Reels is a short form video feature that allows Instagram users to create content with audio overlay and augmented reality effects, as they can already do. on TikTok.
“People search Instagram for entertainment, there is tough competition and there is more to do,” Mosseri said. “We have to accept that, and that means change.”