What does Instagram's new focus on video mean for photographers?

At the beginning of July, head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri took to social media to announce that changes would be coming to Instagram.

In the two and a half minute video, Mosseri explained that the team at Instagram are building new experiences for creators, video, shopping, and messaging.

"We're no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app," he announced.

This quote sparked fear and anger amongst photographers who don't know where this will leave them on the platform.

On Twitter user by the name of Gravitas, said: "Bad take, man. Instagram was not made for TikTok videos. Instagram is to share images of what we want to show the world.

"Instagram is home to many photographers to show their passion to the world. By doing this, you are essentially kicking us out by creating an opposing atmosphere."

Another Twitter user, Marcus Diddle, suggest that they create a new platform to compete with TikTok and 'stop destroying Instagram'.

The anger behind Instagram becoming TikTok comes from Mosseri explaining that they have huge competition with platforms like TikTok and YouTube.

However, in an 'Ask Me Anything' on his Instagram story, Mosseri promised that "we don't want to be TikTok. We're not going to become TikTok.

"Instagram is going to still connect you with your friends, support photos, have things like Explore but we do need to embrace short form entertaining video."

Twitter user and professional photographer, Emily Carver, says she finds the new Instagram update to be frustrating.

"Seeing Instagram turn it's back on this form of content is disheartening for professional and freelance artists who work with photography, illustration, and all other non-video mediums."

Nevertheless, Emily understands Instagram's desire to meet the demands of it's main users, with Mosseri saying that in research, he found out the number one reason people use Instagram is to be entertained.

Other users feel like Instagram isn't the place to be anymore and have decidedly made the switch to using Twitter for their photography after Mosseri's announcement.

Twitter user and photographer, Joel White said he moved to Twitter a while back after seeing a decline in his Instagram reach and engagement.

"Then comes in Twitter with their really positive and supportive photography community to welcome photographers from Instagram with open arms.

"I think Twitter is the place for photographers because the community is great, the resolution of photos is better because there is less compression, and there is no need to use hashtags or try to post at peak times."

Mosseri also answered a question about photographers in his Ask Me Anything, saying: "We're still going to support photos. We still love photos. I promise."

"It's still early days and nothing is changing overnight so it may be too soon to give a truly informed assumption," Emily Carver adds, seeing the change as a way to experiment with video to attract attention to her 'stills portfolio'.

"What I'm interested in is how we can continue to ensure it's profitable for freelancers and individual creators specialising in stills.

"Only time will tell, and then continue to shift.

"I am however hopeful that the future will not require me to perform an upper-body choreographed dance piece to promote my professional skills and experience."

Mosseri explains that the changes will take place over the next couple of months, starting with showing users stuff in their feeds that they may not be following yet.

Photographers shouldn't worry just yet as Mosseri also says they are experimenting with Topics, which will allow users to choose what they want to see more or less of.

An amazing update from Instagram recently is that users can now post content from their computers, making life just that bit easier for photographers saving their photos to their desktop.


Adam Mosseri Twitter

Adam Mosseri Instagram

Emily Carver Twitter

Emily Carver Instagram

Joel White Twitter

Marcus Diddle Twitter

Gravitas Twitter

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