If you’ve been using the social media app since its inception, you know first-hand how much Instagram has changed over the years.
Recently, though, the changes have become a little too much for the sharing platform’s original users, with even the highest of celebrity-status users speaking out about their frustration with the modifications, no-holds-barred.
Over the past several months, namely with the 2020 release of Instagram Reels, users have complained about new video-first features, calling on the platform to “stop trying to be TikTok.” The criticism comes following growing concerns of the app’s algorithm showing favoritism towards accounts who frequent video content vs. posting traditional photos to the app.
Earlier this week, influencer and photographer Tati Bruening (@illumitati) posted the message: “Make Instagram Instagram again,” along with the words “Stop trying to be TikTok. I just want to see cute photos of my friends.” The post garnered massive attention, gaining nearly 2 million likes by Tuesday night. Even more significantly, it scored reposts by the likes of Kylie Jenner and kim kardashianwho are both amongst the users with the largest following on the app, with 360 million and 326 million followers, respectively.
An accompanying petition set up by Bruening has already reached 180,000 signatures.
In a follow-up video, the photographer also called for Instagram to bring back the chronological timeline, as well as limiting random accounts that one sees in their daily feed.
On Tuesday, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri posted a video on Twitter to address the concerns about the once-photo-first platform’s shifting strategy. “We’re going to continue to support photos. It’s part of our heritage,” Mosseri said directly referencing claims that the social media platform was moving away from its roots. “That said, I need to be honest — I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time. We see this even if we change nothing.”
“We’re also going to need to evolve because the world is changing quickly and we’re going to have to change along with it,” the executive added.
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In a series of following tweets, Mosseri continued to address reasoning behind the company’s changes, citing that user-experience complaints seemingly conflict with growth data. “One thing I hear a lot is people asking to see more friend content in Feed. I’d love for there to be more friend content in feed, but all the growth in photos and videos from friends has been in stories and in DMs,” he wrote, cementing the idea that there are no current plans to switch back to how the platform presented content to users in the past.
He continued, “We will continue to show photos and videos from friends towards the top of Feed whenever we can, but the best way to keep up with friends seems to be with the other parts of Instagram.”
High-profile celebrities chiming in proves to be one of the things that prompts immediate action in companies, especially as it pertains to social media where so much of what helps these platforms thrive is the amount of influence at play.
Mosseri’s rapid move to dispel worries amongst users such as Jenner and Kardashian comes as the exec seemingly seeks to avoid the fate that befell Snap Inc. in 2018 when Jenner tweeted that she had stopped using Snapchat. Snap Inc.’s shares fell 6.1 percent after Jenner’s tweet, erasing a whopping $1.3 billion in market value in just one day.