Instagram is undoubtedly one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It helps to make a lot of money to influencers and businesses all around the globe and also brings a lot of money to Facebook. But something is wrong with today's Instagram, let's analyze this.
Firstly, the TikTok ban made Facebook come up with their own app with short-form videos, and they came up with Reels. This whole Reels thing seems so unnecessary, it is basically Instagram stories in posts, with reduced functionality compared to TikTok. Reels does not bring the TikTok experience to Instagram, it brings stories to your news feed.
I will agree with Anthony Svirskis’s point;
It’s All About Users
Reels is Instagram’s version of TikTok, a video format of a maximum 15 seconds often containing popular music, dancing or pranks. Reels is a longer form of content than Instagram Stories, a feature they borrowed from Snapchat; and a shorter content form than IGTV which is their version of YouTube.
Are you noticing a trend?
Instagram wants users. Of every age and interest possible, and ideally those who create high quality content. This inevitably attracts more users.
The average age of a Facebook user is now 40 years old. They are a grandfather in the social media world. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012 allowed them to bridge to the next generation of content creators. They stopped a migration of these users to Snapchat in 2016 via their Stories feature, and now we’re seeing a similar tactic with Reels.
Some people think that Reels is not that bad, because you now don't need two separate apps. But this brings us to my second point.
Secondly, the platform is oversaturated with so much content, creators, and functionality. Instagram is trying to be all in one. It has messaging, video chats, posts, stories, going live, Reels, IGTV, and other stuff inside of it, which makes Instagram all over the place. Recently they also merged Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
This is, in my opinion, going to make Instagram even more flooded with functionality.
Thirdly, an Instagram algorithm is not that good. TikTok made it clear how a proper algorithm should look like. It can easily bring you content that you will enjoy. Instagram is mostly a platform where users follow certain accounts and can see content from them. Explore page is very bad at choosing the right content and it is often full of irrelevant TikTok videos.
While the average TikTok user spends most of the time on the “For You” page, the average Instagram user mostly consumes content he followed to see and does not see any other accounts he would be interested in. I think TikTok’s algorithm turned a lot of creators to stars because it's so easy to be recommended to the wider audience on it.
I am not saying that Instagram should be like TikTok, I don't even use it at all, Instagram should not turn into a platform with short and mostly entertainment content (it looks like it is happening though). I think Instagram should learn from TikTok in terms of its algorithm and content recommendation system, that’s all.
Instagram is now turning into a Facebook app. Facebook was trying to have everything in one app, they added features like a marketplace, streaming, groups, or video calls. A complicated interface with too much functionality made most people switch to Instagram at some point in time. And now more elders are coming to Instagram from Facebook, more useless functionality is added, it's oversaturated and has a bad explore page.
Instagram is not that bad, because I just shared negative sides of it, but I don't think that it will survive if it will continue going in the same direction. I personally stopped using Instagram a few weeks ago, and partly switched to Medium (don't know if it's social media but I like it), Twitter, and YouTube.
It's very interesting to see if Facebook is going to continue dominating social media game and whether every post we like, every message we send is going to be in the app owned by Facebook. A renewed version of this article: