Facebook is testing changes to its Instagram photo sharing app, making it more of a social video app, TikTok. Adam Mosseri, Director of Instagram, announced the plan on Wednesday to display full screen recommended videos in user feeds.
“We’re also going to try out how we’re embracing video more broadly – full-screen, immersive, entertaining, first mobile video,” Mosseri said. “You’ll see us doing several things or trying out several things in this state in the coming months.”
A greater emphasis on videos will come as TikTok becomes a major competitor to Facebook. Among the top 5 non-gaming apps in May, TikTok ranked No. 1 in downloads and was the only app not owned by Facebook. According to Sensor Tower. The analytics firm estimates that TikTok was installed 80 million times a month, while Facebook’s main app was 53 million.
Like TikTok, Instagram displays recommended videos from accounts that people don’t follow. While Instagram has added more video content with the release of IGTV and its TikTok-like Reels feature, it has mostly highlighted square-shaped photos. Mosseri mentioned TikTok and Google as YouTube’s main competitors.
“We are no longer a photo sharing program or a square photo sharing program,” Mosseri said. “Let’s be honest, there is really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge. YouTube is even bigger, and there are a lot of other beginners as well.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been talking for years about the company becoming a video-centric platform. He said in 2016 that he wouldn’t be surprised if most of the content on Facebook consisted of videos over the next five years, BuzzFeed News reported. Instagram’s Video Button is another sign that this kind of speculation is coming true.
“People want to entertain Instagram. The competition is fierce and there is more to do, ”Mosseri said. “We have to embrace it, and that means change.”