Instagram wants to challenge TikTok and 'embrace video more broadly'

Instagram Logo
Instagram Logo (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The head of Instagram shares his plans to continue evolving the platform this year.
  • The platform will focus on four major points — creators, video, shopping, and messaging.
  • TikTok was called out as a serious competitor to Instagram, signaling the direction the platform will likely take.
  • Instagram is reportedly working on a feature similar to Super Follows on Twitter.

Instagram has serious competition on the best Android phones from platforms and products like TikTok and YouTube Shorts, and it wants to step up its game. The head of Instagram Adam Moserri shared his plans to continue evolving the platform, which he says is "no longer a photo-sharing app."

Moserri highlighted four areas that the platform is focusing on; creators, video, shopping, and messaging. However, his focus was primarily on how Instagram wants to grow as a video-sharing and entertainment platform. "People are looking to Instagram to be entertained, there's stiff competition and there's more to do and we have to embrace that. And that means change."

He shares that within the next couple of months, Instagram will be experimenting with new features like recommendations, which will show users content that they might be interested in but aren't following. The company has already started testing this, and users will be able to adjust the recommendations by selecting various topics.

Instagram also wants to "embrace video more broadly" and experiment with more "full-screen, entertaining, immersive, mobile-first video" over the next couple of months. While this may sound like what the app is already doing with features like Stories and Reels, it seems the company may have more up its sleeve, but the features may iterate over time.

While Moserri didn't speak much on the topic of creators, there has been talk of Instagram working on a feature similar to Twitter Super Follows which gives paid followers access to exclusive content. The feature is dubbed "Exclusive Stories" and was discovered by leaker and mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi.

This would be the latest push to allow creators to monetize their social presence on Instagram. Facebook recently introduced ads on Reels to help creators and brands monetize their content and "reach more audiences."

When asked, the company was not ready to talk about "Exclusive Stories" but did confirm with TechCrunch and Android Central that the images are from an internal prototype and isn't being publicly tested at the moment.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.