Instagram head says iPad 'not big enough' to make app a priority

Adam Mosseri says there aren't enough people using iPads to justify fast-tracking an app.

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It's been more than 11 years since Instagram first launched... and there's still no native iPad app. Instagram users are limited to using the web interface or the iPhone version, an app that is definitely not optimized for the iPad's larger screen. And according to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, that's not going to change any time soon.

In a series of tweets between Mosseri and prolific tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee, Mosseri said that there weren't enough iPad users to justify making a dedicated app. "The year is 2022 and there's still no proper Instagram app for iPad," Brownlee tweeted Sunday afternoon. Mosseri apparently saw it and decided to open up a bit about the decision. "It's still just not a big enough group of people to be a priority," he responded. "Hoping to get to it at some point, but right now we're very heads down on other things."

Mosseri shed a little more light on the situation; in a subsequent tweet, he noted that Instagram's team is "leaner than you think" and said the company was already supporting four platforms (iOS, Android, web and Instagram Lite). He also mentioned Instagram's competitors by name, calling TikTok and YouTube "behemoths." In relation to how people use Instagram vs. those apps, Mosseri said that Instagram users share more in private messages than they do in the feed or through stories, and that the company "need[s] to adapt."

It wasn't exactly clear what he meant by needing to adapt, but it sounds like he thinks people are sharing more publicly on TikTok and YouTube than they are on Instagram right now. Adapting could either be finding ways to make people share more publicly or to improve the messaging experience that is so popular on Instagram, but Mosseri didn't say more on that point.

Finally, Mosseri indicated that Instagram internally views full iPad support as a "finally feature," something they want to get to but isn't a huge priority. "Things like supporting dark mode, scheduled posts, an iPad app, deleting one photo from a carousel, etc," he tweeted.

While there are clearly millions of iPad owners who would likely enjoy an Instagram app, the company has done a lot to make the web experience better over the last few years. Messaging has been fully supported for a while now, and as of last fall you can even create Instagram posts from the website as well. Stories are still exclusive to the mobile apps, but the overall web experience is not nearly as compromised as it used to be.

Regardless, people will probably not stop asking for an Instagram iPad app any time soon, but at least the app's leader has been forthcoming about the chances of that happening in the future. Never say never, iPad users, but don't hold your breath.