Mosseri made the same claim back in February 2020, noting that an Instagram app for iPad “hasn’t bubbled up as the next best thing to do yet.” So far, the company hasn’t shown any interest in making an official Instagram app tailored for the iPad, a device that has millions of users across the world. For a company that is known to have prioritized user engagement over mental health and online harassment, it sounds odd that Instagram is pulling itself away from prime advertising real estate like the iPad.
Related: Instagram Wants You To Stay In Its Social World Just A Little Bit More
It’s 2022, and yet, Instagram’s head honcho is still not a fan of making an app for the iPad. Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee aka MKBHD echoed the same sentiment on Twitter, which spurred none other Mosseri to explain why the world still doesn’t have the Instagram app on iPads. “It’s still just not a big enough group of people to be a priority. Hoping to get to it at some point, but right now we’re very heads down on other things,” Mosseri explained. Per Statista, 46 percent of tablet users in the United States own an iPad (as of 2021), and there are over 80 million iPad users in the country (as of 2020). On a global scale, the safest bet is that there are about 100 million iPad users across the continents. It’s a sizeable audience, but for Instagram, that’s apparently not big enough.
Oh it does, for sure, but:
1/ each surface adds overhead; we support iOS, Android, www, and IG Lite, and Android is the largest
2/ TikTok and YouTube are behemoths, people share more in messages than they do to Stories or Feed, so we need to adapt
3/ we are leaner than you think
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) February 27, 2022
It Makes Sense, And Also Disappoints
In fact, Mosseri is passing the ball over to the iPad user community, tasking them with growth and achieving a number that is worthy of demanding a standalone app. Mosseri further explained that the company already handles Instagram clients on iOS, Android and the web. He added that creating another version would be tantamount to increasing the burden on its team. Speaking of which, Mosseri yet again notes that Instagram’s workforce is “leaner than you think.” The admission is a rare show of transparency from a Meta-owned brand. Mosseri stands out though, as he frequently shares videos detailing the company’s upcoming projects, progress on existing endeavors, creator highlights, and more.
From a users’ perspective, bringing Instagram to the tablet form factor is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it would be convenient to see Instagram photos on a large screen without having to zoom in. But Instagram, in Mosseri’s own words, is no longer just a photo-sharing app. The app has recently doubled down on its efforts to promote Reels, vertical mobile-first short videos that were inspired by TikTok and have now exploded in popularity. Scaling the Instagram UI, especially Reels, to an iPad’s squarish form factor is an aesthetic nightmare. Plus, using apps in a mobile-esque portrait view on a tablet with thick letterboxing on either side is not pretty.