Head of Product
Instagram to Multigram
Here we go, Instagram is following the steps of big brother Facebook.
It was only a matter of time. Instagram went from a camera with cool filters to a MACHINE of photos, videos, and stories where you can also message and send photos, videos, and stories to your friends (talk about meta).
But wait, there’s more. You also have Bookmarks (Pinterest watch out), Archives, Highlights, and whatever other nuggets that are hiding under the hood.
AND, the most important thing : Instagram traveled a long way away from what originally was a more personal, and private, social network. It became an amplification system for memes and celebrities. You used to go to Instagram to see your friends’ #vivalaibiza and family Sunday picnic pictures. Now you go to Instagram to see the latest CB2 sets and Selena Gomez pictures. Instagram became less personal for you but made people like Selena more personable.
So this “fork” in the Instagram app, into a photo app and a messaging app, is not just another way to de-bloat the app. It’s also a way for Instagram to embrace their new broadcasting identity fully without abandoning the personal, and what’s more personal than your DMs.
Disclaimer: I haven’t tried Direct yet, so I’m speculating. But I imagine you can do everything you can in Snapchat — DM, post and send Stories, and discover other people’s stories (and ads). What MAY be different, and this is the best time to differentiate while Snapchat goes through major interface reboots, is to make it easy for everyone to use.
From past talks, it seems like Instagram’s UX researchers do invest heavily on solving for the 80%. Sure that may take away the “edge”, but teenagers don’t seem to mind anymore. And, if Direct is to become as ubiquitous a messenger app as, well, Messenger, then I imagine messages will be at the forefront of Direct.