Instagram has become increasingly popular as a photo-sharing app since it was launched in 2010. Photographers, creators, and creatives have focused on producing beautiful pictures to wow their audiences with the help of the app’s editing tools.
But Instagram has been changing over the past year. No longer focused on pictures, the app now prioritizes Reels and has changed its algorithm and appearance to reflect that—and Instagram users aren’t happy.
There’s a rallying call online to “make Instagram Instagram again.” Let’s delve deeper to learn why so many creators are speaking out and consider whether this call will yield any results.
Users Speak Out Against Instagram’s Changes
There’s an ongoing call online rallying against Instagram’s raft of changes, particularly pushing video content in an attempt to compete with TikTok. Led by photographer Tati Bruening, the petition to make Instagram Instagram again on Change.org has attracted the attention and support of creators and celebrities. Among these are the Kardashian-Jenner sisters, who have been pushing it in their Instagram Stories.
In addition to bringing back an algorithm that favors photos, the petition wants Instagram to:
- Bring back chronological timelines
- Stop being a TikTok copycat
- Listen to creators
Social media apps have been trying to keep up with TikTok for some time now, and it’s no wonder, as TikTok has been growing exponentially over the years. To that end, Facebook introduced separate Feed and Home tabs in July 2022, and Instagram added new tools to Reels in June 2022.
Instagram’s creators that built a following primarily based on photo content now worry about the future of their accounts as the app heads in a different direction.
Reasons People Want to “Make Instagram Instagram Again”
Instagram has been rolling out a more TikTok-like feed in 2022, and users are noticing the changes. As a result, many people feel the changes are turning Instagram into something different from what it used to be—the photo-sharing app that many have grown to love.
While video content is believed to generate more engagement, the truth is that not everyone prefers videos to photos. Many Instagram creators have honed their picture-taking and editing skills to grow their Instagram accounts.
The changes mean they’ll have to rethink their strategies and focus on video content. If not, their hard work might go down the drain over time if Instagram continues to push video content over photos.
Will the Petition Against Instagram’s Changes Achieve Anything?
On July 26, 2022, Instagram Head Adam Mosseri published a response to the backlash on his social media channels. In the video, Mosseri reiterated that the full-screen feed is still an ongoing test among some Instagram users and added that it needs some polishing.
More importantly, although he reassured users that Instagram would continue to support photos, he doubled down on the app’s plans to invest more in video content. He explained that the focus on video content is in response to users’ interests, which are evolving. As stated by Mosseri:
Now, I want to be clear: We’re going to continue to support photos—it’s part of our heritage, you know, I love photos; I know a lot of you out there love photos too. 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 see this even if you just look at chronological feed. If you look at what people share on Instagram, that’s shifting more and more to videos overtime. If you look at what people like and consume and view on Instagram, that’s also shifting more and more to video over time, even when we stop changing anything. So, we’re going to have to lean into that shift while continuing to support photos.
Given this response, it’s unlikely that Instagram will change course and go back to prioritizing photos over videos again. Gone are the days when uploading your best photos could get you noticed on Instagram. If you want to get noticed, you’ll have to post more Reels.
However, you can ensure that people who visit your account see your best pictures. All you need to do is pin your top three photos to the top of your Instagram grid. According to a post on the Instagram blog, you can also remix your photos into a Reel.
Instagram Is Becoming a TikTok Clone
There’s no denying it—Instagram is becoming a TikTok clone. The fact that the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, confirmed that the app will continue to prioritize video content over photos means there’s no going back.
If you want the app to show your profile and content to more people, you have no choice but to post more Reels. If you’re not interested in doing that, consider using other photo-sharing apps.
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