I’ve noticed lately that a lot of Instagram users have been complaining about the reach they get on photos. I experienced it myself: the reach on Reels with absolutely the same subject is much higher, even though I’m way better at taking photos than I am at making Reels.
There has been a lot of criticism about this, and a recent report even suggests that Instagram cuts your reach for photos by 44%. It looks like the company’s CEO Adam Mosseri couldn’t ignore the backlash anymore. So, he recently responded to it in a video, saying that Instagram will keep supporting photos but that “it needs to evolve.”
👋🏼 There’s a lot happening on Instagram right now.
I wanted to address a few things we’re working on to make Instagram a better experience.
Please let me know what you think 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/x1If5qrCyS
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) July 26, 2022
In the video he posted on Twitter, Mosseri addresses three things people seem to have the biggest problem with. The first one is the full screen feed which makes Instagram look even more like TikTok (if that’s even possible). Mosseri emphasizes that it’s just a test displayed to a limited percentage of people and that it’s still not good. And if they want to ship it to the entire community, they need to make it good first.
Another thing Instagram CEO talks about is recommendations. If you’ve ever visited Instagram’s Recommended feed, I believe there was a bunch of content you actually don’t care about. In fact, this is one thing where Instagram should copy TikTok, as the competitor’s algorithm is perfect when it comes to recommendations, Mosseri says that this is a way to help creators and make them more visible to a broader community… But I think we all know this just serves to make us spend more time scrolling through the app instead of washing that pile of dishes that’s been in the sink since yesterday.
What all of us photographers are most concerned about are videos. Mosseri claims that Instagram will continue to support photos since there are many of us who like them. In fact, he says that he likes them as well. But he believes that “more of more of Instagram is going to become video over time,” even if they don’t change anything. People’s interest seems to be shifting towards short and easily digestible videos, and Instagram wants to ride on that wave. So, of course, you’ll still be able to post photos… But I’m pretty sure that you’ll need to play the algorithm game and create Reels if you want to reach broader audience, whether you like it or not.