When it comes to video, Instagram has become a pretty confusing place of late. With the introduction of Reels last summer, there's now a grand total of four(!) places to post video on the platform, and users have made no secret of their confusion. Now, the head of Instagram has admitted he isn't pleased with situation – and promises big changes are on the way.
Speaking on The Verge's Decoder podcast, Adam Mosseri said he's "not yet happy" with the Reels, and admitted that rival platform TikTok is way ahead. While there are a few ways of customising your bio (such as changing your Instagram font), Mosseri says the company plans to add more creative options specifically for video, such as original filters and effects. Update: Instagram has since doubled down on its introduction of Reels. See what's new in Instagram Reels.
But before that, the company needs to sort out the frankly baffling state of its video offering. Instagram is currently juggling various video formats: Reels, Stories, IGTV and standard feed videos. Confused? As the tweets below show, you're not alone.
Mosseri has admitted that there's "probably too nuanced a distinction to resonate with anybody" – In other words, nobody knows the difference. Perhaps the simplest way of looking at it is: Reels = TikTok, IGTV = YouTube, Stories = Snapchat.
But in potentially great news for confused content creators, Mosseri hints that Instagram could soon end up consolidating its video offering. "We’re looking about how we can — not just with IGTV, but across all of Instagram — simplify and consolidate ideas, because last year we placed a lot of new bets," he told the podcast (opens in new tab). "I think this year we have to go back to our focus on simplicity and craft.”
Okay what is the difference between a video on the feed, a video on stories, a video on IGTV (besides longer duration) and lastly, a video on reels?There's too many places to put videos on Instagram why do you insist on doing this to people Instagram why do you get off on itAugust 7, 2020
Creators on Instagram have to be fluent in Instagram and Instagram Stories, YouTube (IGTV) and Reels (Tik Tok).This app is a nightmare for creatives, it feels like.December 26, 2020
Does anyone actually understand the difference between Instagram stories, reels & IGTV? Is the latter even still a thing? #confusedDecember 8, 2020
Me trying to understand the difference between Instagram posts, stories, reels, and IGTV. pic.twitter.com/GXJ9h5Fr2dNovember 16, 2020
Literally no one alive knows the difference between IG reels, stories, and IGTV and I’m sorrySeptember 1, 2020
Once that's out of the way, Mosseri says the company can focus on ways for users to make their videos more creative. Unlike TikTok, Instagram doesn't currently offer its own filters and effects. "I think we have to get better at building more powerful and creative tools to give people who are more creative than us and make content for a living the ability to make something that’s going to pop,” he says.
More creative options will certainly be good news for content creators, as well the news that the platform may be simplifying its video tools. Indeed, if you're rocking one of the best camera phones, it would be nice to be able to showcase your videos without also requiring an PhD in Advanced Algebra.
While we wait for Instagram to get its act together, here are 5 easy ways to transform your social media videos. And if you're looking for the best kit for filming on the go, you can't go wrong with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro – check out today's best deals below.