On June 30, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri released a video on Twitter announcing that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing app, but will rather be centered around four main areas: creators, video, shopping, and messaging. “The number one reason that people say they use Instagram in research is to be entertained. So people are looking to us for that,” Mosseri said in the video. Mosseri also mentioned that TikTok and YouTube are two of Instagram’s biggest competitors, and the shift to focus on video, such as Reels, will keep Instagram more relevant. Mosseri added that these changes will be occurring over the next few months.
And let’s just say… People were not happy.
Users on Twitter flooded the comment section of the video, with one user writing, “You’re not TikTok, and people use Instagram BECAUSE it’s not TikTok. The problem with apps these days is they’re all trying to be like each other and driving people away. Y’all never learn or listen.” Another user wrote, “Bro, stop thinking that everyone wants to be an influencer or even follow influencers, and be ‘entertained’ I just use [Instagram] primarily to connect with my friends and family, not to see only famous people. Stop trying to be like the other apps. Every update is getting worse and worse.”
This is not the first time Instagram has been met with controversy and discontent from users after announcing or releasing new updates. When Instagram first introduced Reels, people became upset and accused Instagram of blatantly copying TikTok. In November 2020, Instagram changed the layout of the app to better highlight Reels and shopping, which drastically altered the functionality of receiving notifications. This also resulted in major backlash from users, with someone on Twitter saying, “Another day of Instagram making updates that literally nobody f*cking asked for lol.”
And let’s not forget when Instagram ditched having posts pop up in chronological order on your home feed back in 2016 — instead, Instagram now uses a special and ever-changing algorithm to order posts on your home feed. Once again, an update that nobody really asked for (I know I most certainly didn’t) and one that five years later, people are still asking Instagram to reverse.
But that’s how Instagram and other social media apps are; they don’t actively listen to consumers, but rather act on whatever will make them the biggest profit. Instagram doesn’t care that you use the app to keep in touch with your old high school friends or your cousins that live across the country — because that isn’t really what makes them money. What do they care about, though? Advertisements, shopping, branded content (which, hint hint, comes from creators). But what Instagram doesn’t realize is that adding all of these unwanted changes to the app will ultimately drive consumers away, which will result in less profit in the long run. This may also lead to consumers searching and finding other apps to share photos on in replacement of Instagram.
So, Instagram, here’s my final plea — please listen to consumers and don’t make these changes. Focus on what made Instagram so great in the first place: allowing users to have the ability to share photos with friends, family, and their community. This new rollout will take away so much of the community aspect that made Instagram unique — why would we want to see people we don’t follow all over our feed? Oh, and while you’re at it, please make my posts chronological again.