If you can’t beat your enemy, join him. Looking at the movements that the large social networks are announcing in recent days, that could seem to be – or will be – the general line of their business strategy and connection with the public. All the moves that have been announced recently involve looking at what the competition is doing and doing it almost exactly the same way.
All social networks are copying each other and mimicking each other’s services. For its part, Instagram has announced in the last week a series of changes that will make it increasingly similar to TikTok. “There are already a photo sharing app or application of square photos”, he has ruled even the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, as collected US media.
Mosseri has revealed what plans Instagram will follow to create its future user experience and the guidelines are very similar to those of the experience that TikTok offers now. Instagram will start showing content in full screen and will also recommend videos to users in the feed. In general, in fact, you could say that Instagram is going to try to position itself much more in the video environment than it does now.
If until now Instagram was a social network for photos, now it wants to be a social network for videos. Instagram will look more and more like TikTok, the social network that its own managers recognize is now their competition as they believe YouTube is. Instagram had already tried to fight TikTok using its weapons with the launch of Reels, the platform’s version of the short videos that have elevated TikTok.
Now they will go one step further: Mosseri ensures that users are looking for entertainment and that is what they have to give them.
Also TikTok copies
But, if Instagram wants to look more and more like TikTok and increasingly uses its tools to connect with audiences, what happens to TikTok? The dominant trend of what social networks do and what companies are working on is not so much looking for uniqueness as mimicry, so TikTok, in turn, is trying to look like another player.
The social network has just announced that it will now allow the uploading of videos of up to three minutes. This triples the length of videos allowed and becomes a more direct competition with YouTube: TikTok wants to be much more like Google’s video platform. With this, what Tiktok hopes to gain is user retention, as eMarketer analysts point out , and gain even more time using the app.
Although the social network already has very good data in what time its users spend with its content, longer ones would even manage to increase those averages. EMarketer analysts also point out that with this content, TikTok could gain the potential to be a “super app” in which users will do more than simply watch videos.
For example, it could be the definitive accolade for your Jumps service, which allows you to add mini apps that are accessed from the video. YouTube’s movements, in turn, go through trying to capture more long-term content and trying to reach more direct ones.
If it manages to gain the space that TV now occupies (and that it is already losing), YouTube could sell more expensive ads in the environment of connected televisions. It is something that obviously works as a key point.
The cycle of copies
The conclusion is clear, as they point out in the eMarketer analysis. Instagram wants to be like TikTok, when TikTok wants to be like YouTube and when YouTube in turn seeks to be the new TV. All the emerging and fast-paced platforms try to position themselves in the online market by seeking to offer something different, but when they do it – and the way they do it involves copying what others have done before.
In other words, in their quest to dazzle the public and retain audiences that are increasingly difficult to fall in love with, they have ended up in a kind of cycle and loop of copying each other. Nobody seems to be releasing anything new, because all their novelties are something that others have done before.