Instagram Insists It’s No Longer Just a Photo Sharing App

Facebook-owned social media app Instagram claims to be expanding beyond just photos, looking to branch into shopping

In a recent statement, the Head of Instagram has stated that there are plans for the social media platform to expand beyond the simple photo sharing that it has become known for.

Facebook-owned Instagram hasn’t had any monumental changes or updates in a while, but there’s clearly been a massive amount of planning behind the scenes. The changes it’s looking to make would elevate Instagram above a photo-sharing app, to a fully functional social network with far more advanced shopping and messaging than we’ve seen to date.

While the proposed changes don’t yet have concrete release dates, the fact that Instagram is being so vocal about these updates may mean that they’re coming sooner rather than later. There’s plenty of rivalry, as Instagram rushes to compete with TikTok’s new influence and push for online commerce.

What Does Instagram Want to Become?

The Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has outlined four key areas into which Instagram is looking to expand. These areas are improved monetisation for creators, video services, shopping functionality, and messaging capabilities.

Firstly, when it comes to the app’s monetisation for creators, Mosseri claims that he recognises that individuals are more respected than institutions, and that the current monetisation models need to be reworked to fit around individual creators.

When it comes to videos, Instagram has already integrated video services into their app. Things such as reels and stories are a start, but Mosseri wants to go beyond.

“We’re also going to be experimenting with how do we embrace video more broadly — full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video. And so you’ll see us do a number of things, or experiment with a number of things in this space over the coming months.”

When it comes to shopping, Instagram doesn’t have much to offer, but that is all due to change. Facebook, Instagram’s owner, has its Marketplace, but Instagram is waiting to join the fold. With the pandemic shifting a lot of business into online models, Instagram is looking to capitalise on this trend.

Finally, the app’s messaging service is going to be reworked and fleshed out, but the exact changes are still unknown.

The Future of Instagram

As mentioned, while none of these updates have strict public release dates, it’s a safe assumption that Instagram is working hard on getting these live out as soon as possible.

With TikTok’s recent popularity explosion, it’s not hard to see how Instagram might feel a bit threatened. Its push for more video content is probably at the forefront, but the other three initiatives wouldn’t be too far behind – particularly the lucrative shopping function.

Keep your eyes on to get the rundown on these features whenever they’re released. And, if you think these new features sound like they might benefit you or your business, check out some of the best social media management tools that you can use to take advantage of Instagram’s climb to the top.

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Written by:
Duncan (BA in English Textual Studies and Game Design) is an Australian-born senior writer for Tech.Co. His articles focus on website builders, and business software that allows small businesses to improve their efficiency or reach, with an emphasis on digital marketing or accounting. He has written for Website Builder Expert and MarTech Series, and has been featured in Forbes. In his free time, Duncan loves to deconstruct video games, which means that his loved ones are keenly concerned about the amount of time he spends looking at screens.
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