As the year went by Instagram got in too many TikTok-like features. More so, it officially said that the app won’t be about photos. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, earlier this year said that “We’re no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app.”
What happens on TikTok, doesn’t stay on TikTok
The ByteDance-owned app has really taken off in the last few years. Despite being banned in India, TikTok remains one of the most downloaded app in the world with millions of monthly active users. And it inspired the likes of Instagram to become more like them. So Instagram did exactly that — gave its own tweak to features that were already popular on TikTok.
In March 2021, Instagram launched a feature called Remix — it allows users to record Reels video along with a video from another user. The feature was very much like Duets, found on TikTok.
When Instagram Reels were launched, the short videos were just 15 seconds long. However, soon that time limit was doubled but in 2021 Reels can be over 60-seconds long. TikTok earlier had a 1-minute time limit but it raised to 3 minutes in 2021 — something that Instagram also did.
Reels also got the text-to-speech and voice effects features in 2021, which again were already there on TikTok.
Instagram also launched an all-new search experience will now show suggestions for photos and videos rather than hashtags, user accounts or places. A similar functionality has been in TikTok for a while now.
Last week, a feature called Visual Replies landed on Instagram. Much to little surprise, it has already been on TikTok for a while.
It’s all about videos and entertainment on Instagram
Mosseri earlier this year made it clear that Instagram faces big competition for eyeballs. “Let’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now,” he said. “TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there’s lots of other upstarts as well.”
He further said that people look to Instagram to be entertained. “We have to embrace that, and that means change.”
The change or rather changes have been heavily inspired by TikTok. 2021 may just have been the year when Instagram really became more and more like TikTok.