Recently Instagram has received a lot of criticism for testing the feed in full screen format. Dissatisfied with the focus the platform has given to short videos, many users pointed to the experiments as yet another attempt to copy TikTok. The controversy was such that the head of the social network, Adam Mosseri, went back and paused the tests. There are, however, many other Instagram features that were inspired by tools in other apps. Stories, for example, were admittedly copied from Snapchat, which became popular precisely for self-destructing photos after 24 hours.
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Augmented reality filters and the ability to delete photos and messages after viewing also first appeared on Snapchat. In addition, other social networks such as Pinterest and BeReal have been targeted by Instagram copies. In the list below, the TechTudo recalls eight features of the Meta application that were “copied” from other platforms.
Instagram accumulates a list of features copied from rival platforms — Photo: Reproduction/Unsplash
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Launched on Instagram in 2020, Reels generated, right away, comparisons with the proposal of TikTok and the old social network Vine. After all, both platforms consisted of publishing and editing short and fun videos. Reels followed the same line of reasoning: vertical videos with a maximum of 30 seconds, and the possibility of combining audio, images, text and visual effects.
Today, for a video to be considered Reels, it can be up to 15 minutes long – unlike TikTok, which has a duration limit of 10 minutes. However, in order for the video to be recommended on Instagram and have a greater reach, it must have a duration of up to 90 seconds.
Instagram turned all videos under 15 minutes into Reels — Photo: Disclosure/Instagram
When compared to Reels, TikTok comes out ahead in terms of production and consumption, not least because this type of content is the flagship of the application. The Chinese social network surpasses Instagram in terms of the variety of editing features such as voice effects and new filters. In addition, TikTok also allows the user to download all the videos available on the platform, unlike Reels, which only allows the user to download their own content, not that of other people.
One of the first features “copied” by Instagram was Stories. The tool, which allows you to publish ephemeral content available for just 24 hours, is similar to Snapchat’s “My Stories” feature. Even the tool commands are the same: tap the right side to go forward, tap the left side to go back and swipe from right to left to see another user’s posts. In 2017, Instagram’s then director of product took over copying and argued that “this is how the market works”.
Instagram Stories are up to 15 seconds long — Photo: TechTudo
While each story is a maximum of 15 seconds long, Snapchat content does not exceed 10 seconds. Both networks allow the user to share the post to all users, or to just a specific follower. In addition, the two apps have common editing tools, such as text, free drawing, stickers and emojis, music, augmented reality filters and a link button. However, Instagram offers more options for interacting with followers, such as quizzes, polls and a question box.
Even Pinterest has been the target of Instagram “copies”. In 2017, Meta’s social network launched the “Collections” feature, which allows you to organize and categorize publications saved in folders. It turns out that the tool was initially conceived and popularized on Pinterest, where it is possible to save inspirations in a kind of “moodboard”. The difference is that, on Instagram, you have to save posts to categorize them. On Pinterest, when creating a board, the network suggests images to be inserted according to the title created and references that you had previously saved.
Feature to categorize saved posts on Instagram was inspired by Pinterest — Photo: Carolina Ochsendorf/TechTudo
4. Augmented reality selfie filters
Snapchat was one of the first networks to offer interactive and augmented reality filters. Launched in 2015, the “Lenses” feature was a hit with users, who reveled in flower crown and dog ears effects. Instagram, for its part, announced in 2017 a facial recognition tool to apply effects to the face very similar to that of Snap. At the time, many users complained that the quality and technology of Instagram filters were far inferior. Some time later, the Meta network announced the inclusion of the “Library of filters”, allowing access to effects from content creators – a function that Snapchat also already had.
Instagram effects library is similar to the feature originally offered by Snapchat — Photo: Marvin Costa/TechTudo
One of TikTok’s differentials was the “Duets” function, which allowed recordings by dividing the screen with a video pre-recorded by other users. The tool gained popularity after being used to sing along with celebrities and react to content from other creators. In 2021, the function arrived at Reels in the same way, allowing you to create montages with any video published in the feed.
Instagram now allows you to Remix with photos, a function similar to TikTok — Photo: Disclosure/Instagram
6. Photos and videos that erase after viewing
In addition to the 24-hour posts and interactive filters, Snapchat was successful for allowing the sending of media and messages that self-destruct after viewing, making it impossible to review the content sent in the individual chat. In 2017, Instagram also joined the option of sending temporary photos and videos in the platform’s Direct. In 2020, it launched the “temporary mode” of chat, where even messages disappear after being viewed by the other user.
As with Snapchat, Instagram’s Temporary mode allows you to send self-destructive messages — Photo: Rodrigo Fernandes/TechTudo
After the success of TikTok, Instagram began testing, with selected users, a full-screen feed, following the same format as the Chinese social network. The goal was to prioritize content produced in Reels with vertical scrolling. However, the news was not well received by users, who criticized the distance from Instagram’s initial proposal: to be a photo social network. With that, the platform decided to stop the pilot test and re-evaluate the user experience. In an interview given to the Newsletter platform, the head of the social network, Adam Mosseri, admitted that people were frustrated and that it was necessary to “take a step back”.
Instagram tests new feed format with full-screen videos, similar in appearance to TikTok — Photo: Disclosure / Instagram
In July of this year, Instagram launched Dual Capture, a tool to record Reels using the front and rear cameras simultaneously. Many users found the feature similar to a feature on BeReal, a social network that encourages authenticity and offers no filters. Created in 2019, the app sends an alert once a day giving users two minutes to take a picture with the front and back sides of the camera. That way, followers can see what the person is really doing when they capture that moment. The difference is that BeReal does not allow editing or manipulation of the image after double capture.
Instagram launches dual recording with front and rear camera — Photo: Disclosure / Instagram
with information from 91 MobilesInstagram, Snapchat , mashable and vice
See too: Five Types of Stories to Increase Engagement on Instagram
5 types of Stories to increase engagement on Instagram