Why Instagram Feels Surprisingly Better Than Facebook
Over the last few years, Facebook feels more and more like using Gmail. Facebook has become a daily phonebook and event planner with a smattering of advertising and a dash or virtue signalling. Despite the fact, we keep coming back for the habit-forming hooks such as comments, likes and notifications. Facebook is almost like Yahoo 15 years ago. A stuffed portal.
Instagram feels different from Facebook. It feels light and smooth. And it feels less of a burden and more a delight.
Because Instagram is mobile first, the design experience is very disciplined and sparring. Instagram strictly offers a feed and posts. There's not much more than that. Whereas Facebook has to accommodate a mishmash of features like the marketplace, groups, events, etc. Perhaps these 'extras' are hangovers from the desktop experience.
The content limitation of photos and video on Instagram is a blessing. This constraint encourages the content, and the subsequent conversation, to being shorter and more positive. As a result, content is unified in form and feedback. Therefore we need fewer brain cycles to enjoy Instagram.
Food, family, friends and experiences make up so much of the Instagram feed. And this stuff is all fun. Facebook couldn't feel more different. With so much moral outrage and polarising conversation on Facebook, Instagram feels like a sanctuary.
Instagram recently announced it's hit 1billion active users and looks to be on a massive growth cycle at the moment. This surge seems set to continue, the company has more than 1M advertisers and recently launched its YouTube-killer app IGTV.