I just got an instagram update today and noticed some changes with their interface design. Now when I want to post something on Instagram the add post icon is no longer at the bottom center, it moves to the top right corner beside the notification icon (the heart shaped one). Now at the bottom center they put their new feature called Reels. I know this Reels feature has been around since August 2020 in the US, but I never got a chance to take a look at it until Instagram officially released that feature in Indonesia 3 days ago, and when I looked at it my reaction was like “Okay, they copy Tik Tok now”. Well if you are familiar with Tik Tok you will find similarity in this Instagram Reels, the way you browse the video, the way they put the icons to navigate, everything is similar to Tik Tok.
Now it got me thinking, how many times does Instagram copy their competitors? Start with Vine, back in 2013 Vine is a social media where you can create videos up to 6 seconds. You can record and pause the video so many times and it allows you to create some kind of stop motion. If you know Vine, you know what I mean. Some people create comedy sketches and even a short movie in 6 seconds length. For your information, back then Instagram could only post photos, not video, not yet. Until they look at Vine and create a same feature where users can upload a video up to 10 or 15 seconds. That’s the first time Instagram copied their competitors.
You might remember Snapchat, snapchat is quite popular, then Instagram copied them and created Instagram stories. Same thing with Periscope and Meerkat, if you don’t know Periscope and Meerkat are the live streaming platforms, they were the most popular at that time. And once again Instagram copied them and created Instagram Live. And now Tik Tok.
Instagram has copied at least 4 of their competitors.
But it’s not just Instagram trying to copy their competitors, some platforms also try to copy some of Instagram’s features. For example the double tap to like on Instagram is also copied by Tumblr, when you want to like some post on Tumblr now you can just use double tap, even Vine back then used the same method to like posts. Double tap, from Instagram.
If you are on Twitter for quite some time, you might know that before it’s called “like” on Twitter it was called “favorite” using the star symbol not the heart shape, they use the heart shape and change the terms “favorite” to “like” after looking at the Instagram success.
See, Instagram is not the only copy cat in this Industry. I mean it’s very common. If you have seen the movie called “Pirate of Silicon Valley” you know that Windows also copies Macintosh design. It’s everywhere, look at the smartphone design, most of the smartphone brands try to copy the iPhone nowadays.
Regardless of how many times Instagram tries to copy their competitors, we can still use their features and optimize it for the better. If you are a company you can optimize those features to grow your brand. If you are a creative person you can optimize them by sharing your works, sharing your experience, or teaching other people. No matter what changes, we need to accept those changes, we need to adapt to the changes, we need to continue our purpose by optimizing those changes for the better.
That’s it for now, I just want to share my thoughts about this Instagram update, thank you for reading. I’m Rudy P Agnel and I will see you guys next time.
You can also listen to this blog post in audio version from my podcast Rudy Share Stuff on Spotify.