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Instagram Update 2021

What’s the jam with Instagram?

TikTok TikTok, time has been ticking and minds have been working on overdrive at Facebook HQ. In July Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced that Instagram would no longer be a photo sharing app. Insta is going to go down the road of entertainment in the form of video after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok, Dubsmash and YouTube.

“We’re no longer a photo-sharing app,”. He explained that the app will start experimenting with different types of video – “full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video”

So, is this reeeeally necessary? It would seem so!

Enter – Tainment

Yes, enter the era of endless scroll entertainment. If you have been living under a rock – welcome.

Reels, stories, video, dance challenges, comedy, crazy sports trick shots and overnight millionaires. This is the world we live in, and Instagram knows this too well.

Mosseri’s announcement acknowledges that the app will prioritise entertainment and that Instagram will soon display full-screen, recommended videos in their feeds. This has gained the attention of all of the at-home amateur directors who now sit perched on the edge of their seats awaiting these big changes.

So, what exactly is Insta competing against?

Image of woman making a video for youtube


500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute worldwide and about one third of one percent of YouTube creators are able to support themselves full time.

Pretty lucrative gig don’t you think?

YouTube has more than 2 billion logged-in monthly users which is not quite as large an audience as Facebook’s 2.74 billion monthly active users (which no doubt will benefit Facebook as the Insta transition takes place)

People watch more than a billion hours of video on YouTube every day. The diversity of content is what attracts people to the platform. On any day of the week whether you want the best recipe to make banana bread or troubleshoot an issue with your oven, it is all there at the tap of a screen.

Image of iPhone and TikTok logo


TikTok has about 1.1 billion monthly active users and ranks as the 7th most used social network in the world. Mid 2021, it topped Sensor Tower’s top worldwide apps list with more than 80 million downloads. Instagram racked up just 11 million, in comparison.

When asked in the 2020 GlobalWebIndex survey how they mainly use TikTok, the majority of respondents answered: “to find funny/entertaining content.”

TikTok content is more specific with a focus on short, viral-ready videos, which really caught on, and today the platform has created a cult following for some fresh, young, content creators who are well and truly overnight sensations.


Is Instagram worried? Well, no, not really.

Perhaps if they had been any slower to react to the growing demand for more entertainment in the form of video content they might be shaking in their booties, but it would seem that they have made these changes just in time.

Content isn’t necessarily king, but entertainment is, according to Mosseri.

“The number one reason people say that they use Instagram in research is to be entertained. So people are looking to us for that,” he said. “Because let’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there’s a lot of other upstarts as well.”

To embrace videos even more, the app is going to experiment with recommending additional video clips in your Instagram feed. “So showing you things in Feed that you may not be following yet,” Mosseri said.

“We’re also going to be experimenting with how do we embrace video more broadly. Full-screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video,” he added.

Image of a woman making a video for Instagram

Future Outlook?

Depending on how you use Instagram, this announcement may be good or bad for you.

If you are a content creator and influencer, these changes could mean that you have more opportunities to build your brand. You could also have more ways to monetise your content on the platform.

But if you’re a regular user, these changes might put you off, especially if video just aint your thing!

Let’s wait to see what happens!

Our next article will dive into how business owners can harness the power of Instagram video to get the best outcomes.

Don't get left behind!

Genie O’Dowd

Director, Storyteller

About the Author

Genie is a passionate writer, soon to be author, and one of the cogs that keep the machine turning here at Flabbergast.

Hailing from Ireland, she opted for a backpack and round the world ticket in 2010 and managed to stumble across Melbourne on her adventures. She loves to create funny, upbeat content that brings the story of any brand to life before your very eyes. When she is not busy finding new and interesting ways to inject a little WOW into content, she can be found fan-girling on Brené Brown or spoiling her two dogs!

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