Facebook plans to test a suite of changes to Instagram that could make the social media platform much more like TikTok in form, with an emphasis on recommended video content.
Specifically, the company plans to start showing full-screen, recommended videos in a user’s primary feed, Facebook’s Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a Twitter video on Wednesday, as reported by CNBC.
“We’re also going to be experimenting with how do we embrace video more broadly — full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video. You’ll see us do a number of things, or experiment with a number of things in this space over the coming months,” Mosseri said.
In addition to more full-screen video content in general, Instagram will also start showing videos that it recommends to users — including clips that a user doesn’t follow. Mosseri said the changes will roll out in the coming months.
“People are looking to Instagram to be entertained, there’s stiff competition and there’s more to do,” Mosseri said. “We have to embrace that, and that means change.”
The changes will bring Instagram a bit closer to TikTok in content style. In fact, Facebook’s Instagram chief attributed the planned changes to “serious competition” from that of platforms like TikTok and YouTube.
“Let’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there’s lots of other upstarts as well,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Instagram has moved to compete more closely with Chinese-owned TikTok. In 2020, Facebook launched a new “Reels” feature on the platform that adopted TikTok’s focus on short-form video content with audio and other effects.
“We’re no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app,” Mosseri said.
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