Sahail Ashraf posted on 11 January 2023
Instagram is still popular, but needs a little work in some areas. The CEO has set out his priorities for the year ahead.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri often talks to his audience about what the platform is planning to do next. So it’s no surprise that in late December 2022, he chose to release details of what he feels are the top three priorities for the platform in 2023. The choices are revealing, especially with regard to Meta, the parent company for Instagram.
Mosseri has spoken about how he loves the old filters and the general sense of creativity on Instagram. Let’s not forget that Instagram was once quite innovative. People loved using the filters and effects, before they were on every single platform under the sun.
Mosseri feels that Instagram should be feeding creativity in 2023. There is a possible secondary motive for this. Meta is aiming to bring the Metaverse to millions, and it can only do that if people are engaging with it. This can be sped up by encouraging creativity on Instagram, with users developing their own little parts of the Metaverse as they go.
This may sound a little weird, but if users can develop avatars, and marketers can create their own ads due to the freedom they experienced on Instagram, porting that creativity across to the Metavers is the logical next step. And Meta has the technology to make this a reality.
The next priority for Instagram revolves around discovery. Mosseri has stated that, in 2023, he wanted users to be able to find more and more exciting content on Instagram. And content that is interesting to them personally.
Instagram has often said that it wants users to find more videos that are relevant to them. However, it also seems to be looking at 2023 being a year when users can also discover new images and other content that will also mean something to them.
With its content, Instagram hopes to encourage connections between users.
Instead of passive consumption, the company plans to emphasise interactive, conversation-starting experiences to stand out from other social media platforms.
With the new things and the connections, a number of initiatives have been discussed via the press team at Instagram.
One of the new features being rolled out is Notes. Instagram explains it like this:
We’re beginning to roll out Notes, a new way to share your thoughts and see what your friends are up to. Notes are short posts of up to 60 characters using just text and emojis. To leave a note, go to the top of your inbox, select the followers you follow back or people on your Close Friends list, and your note will appear at the top of their inbox for 24 hours. Replies to notes will arrive as DMs in your inbox.
Very similar to the short and sweet format Twitter used to have, Notes should allow people to share ideas quickly. It’s an interesting concept, and it adds complexity to Instagram so it’s leaning towards communication rather than just photos and videos.
And then there’s Candid, a feature that also sounds a lot like BeReal:
We’re starting to test Candid, a new way for you and your friends to capture and share what you’re doing right now in a story that’s only visible to those who also share their own. Capture a candid from the stories camera, the multi-author story at the top of feed, or from the daily notification reminder that starts after your first candid. For those who don’t want to receive the daily notification reminder, you can always turn it off in your Settings. We’re also testing a similar feature on Facebook Stories.
True to form for Meta, which owns Instagram, it seems that it is perfectly fine for Instagram to take the best ideas from other platforms, adapt a little, and then release a version of their own. There is fundamentally nothing wrong with this. Competition exists for that reason, for customers to have more choice. Yet still, it does seem a little too obvious. As an attempt to retain current users as well as find new ones after the inevitable BeReal backlash, it could just work.
Instagram has had problems of late, mostly centered around online safety and the response to problems about how young people are represented. However, with Mosseri having a clear focus on these three areas, it looks like 2023 could be a positive year for the company.
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