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Trying to Do Too Much: The Decline and Fall of the Instagram Empire

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Is Instagram on the rise, or the decline? The folks over at DigitalRev would say it’s the latter, and they believe they know why: Instagram is trying to be too many things to too many people.

In this short, informative episode of DigitalRev In-Focus, they dive into the history of Instagram—from the app’s explosive growth immediately after its release, to its current trajectory full of cloned Snapchat features and ubiquitous ads.

The video’s verdict is that Instagram’s success was partly due to the luck of perfect timing, and partly due to a dedication to one thing and one thing only: photo sharing. After the Facebook acquisition, however, the app’s focus has become increasingly scattered—on monetizing by targeting brands and their marketers on the one hand, and on trying to win users who find Snapchat’s ephemeral style more appealing on the other.

In short, they’re trying to do too much. Continue down this track, and Instagram might someday be as forgettable as Burbn, the failed location check-in app designed by the Instagram co-founders before they pared down their vision and created something simpler… an Instant Photo Telegram app.

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