When you open Instagram, think it’s TikTok

AFP

NOS News

  • Nando Kasteleijn

    editor Tech

  • Nando Kasteleijn

    editor Tech

Tonight, the new quarterly figures for Instagram’s parent company Meta will be published. The company faces major challenges. The company is affected by a privacy measure from Apple that makes personalized ads less effective. It costs billions of dollars, although the company expects to be able to handle it. The biggest challenge for Meta is competition.

Big change

The call on Instagram and Mosseri’s response are exemplary of a larger change being worked on within Meta. In short, TikTok is a huge threat to Instagram and Facebook. The Chinese video app is already huge, number three worldwide on social media, and fears are growing that TikTok will overshadow the platforms.

The growth of TikTok in the Netherlands compared to Facebook and Instagram:

NOS

The growth of TikTok in the Netherlands

The solution? Run TikTok through the copier at Meta’s HQ.

It is not the first time that the ship has been adjusted. In 2016, it was Snapchat that was seen as the biggest threat. In particular, the disappearing messages that we now all know as stories were seen as revolutionary. The model was successfully adopted in the form of Instagram Stories and then also introduced on Facebook; it mainly ensured that users did not feel the need to switch.

Insert: Wheels

So back then the company responded on time. Now Meta will achieve the same with wheel. This is the name of the short videos that are already very important on both Instagram and Facebook and will become even more important. The Instagram app is already full of them and now there is a test which makes the app take on the appearance of TikTok even more.

You’ll notice this right away: you can now scroll through messages pretty quickly on Instagram. TikTok silences you every time. Instagram is now testing that too. All ways to emulate the success of the Chinese video app.

TikTok is now more important than Instagram for influencer Sakuraflor:

Cosplayer Sakuraflor is much bigger on Tiktok than on Instagram

It marks a big change for an app that started ten years ago as a photo-sharing platform with fun filters. Now Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri says that while images aren’t going away, video is becoming increasingly important. It will appeal to certain manufacturers, but certainly not all.

The author of the post urging Instagram not to turn into TikTok is a photographer by profession. This professional group uses the platform as a portfolio for their work, but is increasingly forced to do something with video. The reason is simple: the algorithm ‘finds’ it more interesting.

The big change at Facebook has already begun. Last week, the company announced that users who open the app will end up on a page focused on ‘discovery’, with a leading role for video. Messages from friends and family have been moved one tab. It’s a big change for the platform, which has revolved around the people around you from the start. They are not gone, but they are clearly less important in the strategy.

A survival mode

Meta’s entire strategy bears the hallmarks of a survival mode. And this is how CEO Mark Zuckerberg behaves now: The goals must be more aggressive. “Realistically, there is a group of people [bij het bedrijf, red.] who doesn’t belong here,” he said, according to tech site The Verge, at the end of June. In other words: if you’re not performing enough, you have to go.

On the stock market, Meta is going through difficult times:

NOS

The share price on Meta since July last year

That message, combined with the falling share price (employees are paid partly in shares), creates unrest in the company. The Verge reports that research conducted by Meta itself shows that a majority of employees surveyed are now pessimistic about the future.

This is not a good development for a company that desperately needs the employees to turn the tide.

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