Instagram quits iconic photo-sharing, rolls out new features


Social networking service, Instagram which is widely known for its unique photo-sharing features has announced that the app is pivoting away from being primarily a photo-sharing app in a move to expand its product offerings.

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram announced: “Changes are coming to video on Instagram. 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. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift of commerce from offline to online by a number of years, and we’re trying to lean into that trend through our features.”

Mosseri explained: “People are looking to Instagram to be entertained, there’s stiff competition and there’s more to do. Then we have to embrace that. And that means change. Let’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger and there are a lot of other upstarts as well.”

In 2020, the social media giant launched Reels, an in-app feature where users can create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram. Instagram took its cues from other social video and audio sharing platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse. Clubhouse, founded in early 2020, features live audio chat rooms and recently launched a direct payment tool for collecting tips from users. Similarly, Instagram launched its rooms feature in March to let up to four users chat live with one another simultaneously. Last month, Instagram also unveiled features to help creators monetize their audience.

Instagram debuted its Shopping in Reels feature in December to let sellers and influencers tag their products for sale within their Reels.

“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. Now we have an idea of where we want to end up in a half a year or a year’s time, but I’m sure things are going to change many times between now and then. This isn’t something that we can just do overnight. So you’ll see us iterate and try and be very public about what we’re doing and why with videos like this one,” he concluded.


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