TikTok: Instagram is responding to the Chinese competition
When the former senior product manager Frances Haugen spoke up as a whistleblower for The Wall Street Journal’s publication “The Facebook Files”, Instagram had to swallow a lot of criticism for its impact on young users. It is also coming under increasing pressure from the Chinese short video platform TikTok. In February 2022, Mark Zuckerberg even commented that he sees TikTok as its biggest competitor. So it’s no surprise that Instagram is replicating some of its especially interesting features. After mainly adopting Snapchat features in the past, 2022 will be the year in which TikTok elements are carried over into the Instagram universe.
A glance at Instagram’s new features in 2022:
Home, Following, and Favorites: a return to a chronological Instagram feed
One of the basic features is making a return and will likely be a source of much enthusiasm. Users will soon be able to switch back to a chronological news feed. The curated feed, introduced back in 2017, uses algorithms to determine which posts will be displayed in which order. This display mode will now be called “Home”. The chronological format will be called “Following”. Another mode is also being introduced: “Favorites” will allow users to decide for themselves which accounts they want to be displayed more prominently.
Initial tests are already underway for users to vertically scroll through stories rather than horizontally, as has been the case up until now. Instagram is clearly responding to TikTok’s competition here and copying one of its features for its own network.
Instagram Video to replace IGTV
Instagram already announced in October 2021 that it would be merging IGTV and feed videos and implementing a new Video tab for this purpose, which would ultimately act as a one-stop shop for all videos. A distinction will thus no longer be made between the different video formats in the future. This is intended to make it easier for users to create and explore video content.
Subscription feature: exclusive content
The first exclusive stories already appeared in June 2021 for test purposes. The subscription feature, which will unlock special content from creators, will definitely be rolled out across the board in 2022.
In 2022, Instagram will progressively evolve into a video platform. In this context, it’s also worth mentioning the new Like feature for stories, which is already enabled in some accounts. Users could previously only interact using quick reactions.