After a few months of testing, Instagram is rolling out its new Grid Pinning feature to all of its users, both on iPhones and Android phones. The rollout has already begun and is available to everyone.
The new feature enables you to pin one to three bits of content to the top of your profile page, so you can pin images, Reels or a mix of both. All you need to do is tap on the three-dot icon above a post and select the Pin To Your Profile option. It's a simple thing but it should make a big different to the views of the images or Reels you want your Instagram followers to look at.
It'd be nice to imagine Instagram is doing this out of the goodness of its heart, but it isn't in my opinion – I think it's trying to stop young people from going elsewhere.
The real reason I think Instagram is pushing Reels
Meta, which owns Instagram, is pushing its Reels quite heavily on both Instagram and Facebook. You can now have Reels that last 90 seconds, and you can also add interactive stickers and import your own audio. The changes also mean you can push your Insta Reels to your Facebook account, and Meta has provided a range of templates to make it easier to create your own video content.
I think it's pretty clear why these changes exist: Meta is spooked by the success of TikTok, which is increasingly popular among the younger social media users that Facebook wants to attract. TikTok is expected to be as popular as YouTube by 2024 and to bring in more advertising revenue than Snapchat and Twitter combined. It managed to hit the billion-user mark in four years (Facebook and Instagram took eight years) and it's picking up 18-to-25-year-olds as fast as Facebook is losing them.
Facebook is apparently so worried that it hired (opens in new tab) a PR company to try and make everybody hate TikTok, claiming that the social network was a danger to children. So it's safe to assume we'll see some more TikTok-inspired features coming to Instagram in the near future.