Sitting in her hotel room, Tatiana Bruening opened her phone and tapped the Instagram icon.
Since the last time this girl used the popular social networking app, the Instagram feed has updated to a new format: each post will appear on the phone’s full screen, while the video is played. by loop. Unlike before, Tatiana can now only switch to the next photo or video after swiping the screen.
Instead of posts from friends, this girl also complained because she only saw useless ads with short videos from stories from people she did not follow. The change made her no longer recognize Instagram: “Let’s make Instagram Instagram again.”, Tatiana Bruening shared on her personal page. “I feel very disappointed. This is not the Instagram we used to know.”
Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, two American female billionaires with 326 million and 361 million followers on the app, respectively, were also among users who retweeted Bruening’s post, calling on the platform to “stop it” try to be TikTok”. The post included a petition, signed by more than 165,000 people from more than 30 countries, to convince Meta to stop its “copying” practice, according to Change.org.
Reels, a short TikTok-style looping video feature on Instagram, launched in 2020. Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced plans to prioritize Reels from June 2021 and begin testing the follow-up feed. New format for some accounts in the last few months.
A post calling for Instagram to be yourself
The change to the look and feel of Instagram is only part of the problem. The biggest concern right now, is that many old Instagram accounts full of friends are being replaced by a TikTok clone full of strangers. In response to this mixed reaction, Mr. Mosseri said Instagram is focusing on entertainment and creative users. Statuses from friends are also being adjusted to appear more often on stories.
“We need to grow because the world is changing so fast. We had to change with it,” Mosseri said, adding that he would try to keep friends content at the top of the feed.
“We recognize that changes to the app are tunable, and we need time to make sure we’re getting it right,” a Meta spokesperson said.
Chelsea Mack, 25, who lives in Montreal, says her Instagram account has been updated. The change makes the habit of using the application not maintained as often as before. Instead of updating Instagram several times a day, every 10 minutes or so, Mack now only spends 3 minutes due to the feed showing too much information from strangers. Mack fears that the gradual departure of Instagram users will create a competitive vacuum that is expected to quickly be filled by emerging photo-sharing apps, such as BeReal.
Many old Instagram accounts full of friends are being replaced by a TikTok clone full of strangers
“People use platforms for different reasons. It feels like Instagram is losing those reasons to attract users. The problem may stem from a change in generational thinking. Millennials grew up taking pictures, while younger Generation Z were weaned off with FaceTime video calls,” said Jayne Charneski, marketing strategist and founder of Front Row Insights. “They are comfortable with ordinary content that is not polished and that is why TikTok was born. However, it seems that Instagram is forcing older users to access these interests of Generation Z.