For a specific task, there is a corresponding tool. That has always been the case. For example, if you are gardening, you might want a spade. Sure, you can also use a spoon. But is it as effective? Or would others think of it when they, themselves, are gardening? Of course not! People think of spades and shovels when they want to dig and think of spoons when they want to eat.
Sadly, social media platforms seem to forget about this simple concept. Their tightening competition has made them adjust and mimic each other. In the aftermath, they lose what made them great and famous in the first place. Such is the case in Instagram and TikTok.
TikTok is rolling out the ability for creators to publish longer content. Meanwhile, Instagram says it will no longer be a photo-sharing platform. It will put videos in focus instead, to take on TikTok and YouTube.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri took to Twitter to announce their plans for the future of the platform. The overall message was: Instagram no longer wants to be the “square photo-sharing app.”
Instead, it aims to be a video-streaming platform. Mosseri admits TikTok and YouTube inspired the decision.
Videos are the most marketable content on the internet. In fact, video viewing is expected to be accountable for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022. So, to the people behind Instagram, it is the right decision.
Mosseri says people come to Instagram to get entertained. However, since there are so many social media websites today, Instagram is not the only platform that offers that. He cited that TikTok and Youtube are the most successful ones. The common denominator between the two is their focus on video content. So, to keep up with the competition, Instagram is planning to embrace videos more broadly.
Videos have existed on Instagram for a while now. However, they stayed on the sidelines. Still, Instagram exerted efforts to make users notice them more. The most notable ones are the introduction of Stories, IGTV, and Reels. They can be called “side projects” or “extra features.” That will no longer be the case, for the new Instagram will put them in its center.
Copying features is not new to Instagram. Tales from the past also revealed that it is unashamed of doing so. When Instagram copied Stories from Snapchat, it said it is not about who invented the feature. Instead, it is about who maximized the feature's potential.
Between TikTok and YouTube, the former is closer to Instagram. So, users can expect future Instagram to look like TikTok, but with Facebook tweaks.
TikTok is the fastest-growing social media platform. Out of nowhere, the short-form video-focused app shooted to prominence. In May 2021, it ranked first on Sensor Tower's top worldwide apps list with more than 80 million downloads.
TikTok's success was so fast that even YouTube- the second most visited website in the world – felt alarmed. Thus, YouTube and many other social media websites introduced new features to take it on. YouTube introduced Shorts, and Instagram made Reels.
As mentioned above, Instagram is looking to copy TikTok further. Naturally, TikTok's response would be to introduce new features of its own. If others are borrowing features from it, who said TikTok could not do the same?
One thing Instagram has that TikTok does not is the availability of long-form videos. There are even live videos, which could last for hours, though viewers need to watch them in real-time. So, TikTok thought it was a good idea to add those to its system.
TikTok will now allow the creation of videos that lasts for three minutes. That is thrice longer than the original video length. The reason behind it is to give content creators more flexibility while filming and limit the need for multi-part posts.
Now, just like on Instagram, this is one step away from its original identity. TikTok is known for its rapid-fire rhythm. The bite-sized content is easy to consume and not time-consuming. For that reason, some people prefer TikTok over YouTube, where videos last for an average of 10 minutes.
Mixing in longer videos would disrupt that momentum. They will slow down the pace, which users could find off-putting.
As implied at the beginning of this blog, there is something for different things. The same goes for social media. If people wanted beautiful to almost-perfect photographs, they would visit Instagram. Then, if they wanted to watch videos, they could go to either YouTube or TikTok. The latter will be the choice if they prefer short trendy video content.
On paper, having a bit of everything may look like the best approach. However, based on users' reactions, that is not the case. Social media users like separating the media they indulge in. Because they have different identities, it is easy for them to decide where to go for a particular task. To them, social media platforms are not competing against each other, outside of the growth of followers for Instagram or TikTok. Rather, they are parts of a larger system that answers to different needs. If social media platforms become the same, it will be the destruction of that organized system.
Instagram users are already displeased at how the app looks now. It is barely recognizable, so far from what it used to be. If it loses what attracted its users, there is only a slight chance it would go up.
Engadget, a multilingual technology blog network, says it is one thing to adapt to what the rival platforms are doing. Then, it is another to lose sight of what made people love the platform in the first place.
People loved that TikTok is filled only with short clips. Likewise, they loved how they could scroll through Instagram's feeds and see beautiful photos. If both are losing those selling points, who knows how long their users stick to their platform? In no time, they may quit and look for those types of content somewhere else.
Date: July 28, 2021 / Categories: Interesting, / Author: Joy P
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