Instagram to pivot from videos & Reels, focus equally on Photos in 2023

Paawan Sunam
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Instagram Head recently announced that the platform was largely focused on Reels in 2022, but the focus is going to be a balance between photos and videos going forward.

Since its inception, Instagram had been a social platform where users would find photographic memories of intimate moments. It was long before the launch of the 'Close Friends' feature. After seemingly replicating Snapchat with Stories, TikTok with Reels, and this year BeReal with Candid Challenges, several users on the platform complained about the lost authenticity.

After backlash from users and popular celebrities, a few of the changes were also rolled back, but until the recent announcement, Photos had not been in the picture.

The most impactful change had been the advent of Reels and the focus on videos that completely altered the consumption experience and inclinations. The content on Instagram has been more trend-based, along with dance challenges on remixed or popular songs and variations on fixed templates. Video has now been a focus of social media marketing for a few years now, and Instagram is a significant platform on most media plans.

Also Read: Instagram updates: Quiet Mode, personalization & more

This pattern is about to change, according to the latest announcement by the Head Of Instagram, Adam Mosseri. Transcriptions of his weekly Q&A first published by The Verge mention that going forward the focus is going to shift back to photos instead of videos. The objective here is to maintain a balance between photos and videos, and not completely keep videos as the center of attention, and base ranking, algorithm, and product feature revolving around that.

The Q&A was held by Mosseri on his social handle's Stories, which have expired, but here's what he said according to the transcription of The Verge, "I think we were overfocused on video in 2022 and pushed ranking too far and basically showed too many videos and not enough photos."

He talked about being "overfocused" on videos and pushing the ranking too far, to only show videos across feeds, and mentioned a fair amount of photographers have been upset about this fact. But clarified, "Photos will always be a part of Instagram."

He further discussed that the engagement on photos and videos based on how likely a user would comment or like a post is roughly equal. This is a pleasant development for brands, agencies, and creators who would likely be affected by the change and would need to alter their content strategy to keep up with the change and maintain a mix of formats.

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