In recent years, Instagram has gone through a number of updates as it seeks to become an e-commerce powerhouse, messaging app, and last summer, a video discovery platform. in short, along the lines of TikTok.
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Less than 24 hours ago, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian and other top influencers shared a black-and-white graphic that said: “Make Instagram Instagram again. (Stop trying to TikTok It’s I just want to see cute pictures of my friends.) Hello everyone.”
The original post, created by a 21-year-old Instagram influencer named Tatiana Bruening, had more than 1.9 million likes as of Wednesday morning.
In a video posted to his Instagram account, Mosseri acknowledged that the app is transitioning but explained that some things that users will experience, such as the full-screen feed, are just tests.
“There’s a lot going on on Instagram right now,” he said. “We’re testing different changes to the app, so we’re hearing a lot of concerns from all of you.”
But the rapid pace of new features and testing has left its most loyal users wondering if Instagram even knows what Instagram is.
“Instagram is overcrowded with a lot of content going out at once,” Bruening said. “Everyone felt the same way at the same time, but many people were afraid to say anything.”
A Change.org petition started by Bruening seeks to unlock several changes to the app, including bringing back the timeline, adjusting photo uploads, and removing the Reels video tool. and reduce algorithmic detection. As of Wednesday morning there were over 190,000 signatures.
Although Instagram – which boasts about 1 billion monthly active users as of 2021 – is already outgrowing TikTok’s base, the threat is growing because the use of the video app has increased short. In 2020, TikTok was the most downloaded app in the world, and its young user base started spending more time on Instagram and Facebook. Instagram parent company Meta’s earnings report, set to be released on Wednesday, will reveal whether TikTok has eaten into its market share.
Instagram declined to comment, citing the Post as Mosseri’s video.
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The return to Instagram has broken into the offline world. Last Saturday, dozens of content creators marched outside the company’s New York headquarters to protest its social guidelines – which they say are too restrictive – and changes that would make it difficult to see new accounts.
“I think the reason I and a lot of other people are interested in this is that we really want to be technology Utopianists,” said Ana, a 24-year-old content creator who organized the event. protesting and speaking in a formal manner is the only thing. his first name will be used, citing privacy concerns.
He read out a list of demands before he and two other meme fund managers chained themselves to the doors of Instagram’s office in protest. “We ask that artists, creators, and fans who make money through this app be protected and have a reliable support system and real moderators to help users,” he called. “We need to make the platform work for people who are still alive.”
But users are very different, and many complaints are not consistent with their behavior. While some Instagram users say they want to see more photo posts in their feed, Mosseri said Users have less to say, choosing to share pictures on their Stories or direct messages.
And none of the changes approved by Bruening will bring Instagram back to the way it used to be, say the site’s experts.
“I’m saying that everyone who likes and shares that post about bringing Instagram back to its original form, will spend less time on Instagram if it returns to its original form,” he said. and Tommy Marcus, a content creator in Brooklyn. has almost 1 million followers on the platform.
Sarah Chappell, an online business strategist and creative coach in New York City, said the buzz reflects a general understanding among internet users that apps aren’t meeting their needs, even as content creators. small business, average investor.
“It’s just a level of confidence right now, people aren’t willing to commit or commit to whatever Meta is testing this week,” he said. “Instagram is trying to do too many different things, and their constant need to download from other apps creates confusion for creators and consumers, confusion does not lead to adoption .”
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But the company aims to approach the entertainment industry. Instagram owner Meta is creating an advisory board made up of entertainment executives, managers and journalists, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. The project has been in the works for more than a year, but it began reaching out to board members this week. The board does not advise on specific product changes but focuses on Meta’s role with the entertainment industry.
And some analysts say that Instagram’s plans can still be justified, because the platform is the only number to see what works and what doesn’t. “Often we end up accepting that the company is right,” said Rex Woodbury, a partner at Index Ventures, a venture capital firm.
Brent Thill, an internet analyst at Jefferies, said that Silicon Valley’s “innovate or die mantra” requires Instagram to continue to deliver new features. “They say it sucks right out of the gate, but it gets better. That’s how products work in technology, we’re going through a series of iterations,” said Thill.
To some observers, the fact that Instagram is working so hard to reinvent its core role of connecting with friends and family speaks to the social media’s changing nature. “Strengthening access information reflects the competitive landscape they’re in right now,” said Matt Perault, director of the Technology Policy Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “It may be very necessary for them to pivot, but it does not mean that they will succeed in this new world.”
To ride out the storm, Instagram needs to listen to the right voices and navigate the backlash from one side. “There’s a battle between people who want Instagram to be like Snapchat and people who want to be more TikTok,” Woodbury said. “This time the former team is bigger and stronger.”