Instagram has made some big changes lately, which has ruffled a few feathers, causing some of the biggest names on the platform to join a petition to revert it back to how it was.
In pursuit of dragging traction back from its new major competitor in TikTok, the platform has been overhauled to replicate what they believe are the strong selling points of the new entertainment app, mainly full-screen experience, prioritising video and an algorithm that regularly delivers content to your feed even when you don’t follow the creator.
This pivot makes sense right? After all, TikTok has generated billions of followers in an incredibly short period of time.
Well as it turns out, not everyone wants Instagram to turn into TikTok, and they’re looking to do something about it…
Earlier in the week, Influencer Tati Bruening (@Illumitati) launched a petition to her 319k followers titled “MAKE INSTAGRAM INSTAGRAM AGAIN”.
As part of the petition, Bruening has requested the following from the Meta owned platform:
- Bring back chronological timelines
- Stop trying to be TikTok
- An algorithm that favours photos
- A platform that listens to creators
In essence – Bruening was sick of being served nothing but recommended videos and ads while missing out on seeing content from her friends. “I was seeing a post from my friend underneath three Reels and a recommended post that was six days old,” Tati said “Stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends.”
Illumitati went viral. After being live for four days the post had been liked over 1.9 million times, while the petition itself had received close to 200k signatures (and climbing, rapidly).
Of the people who have engaged with this petition, two names, in particular, stand out as to why this movement has gone so viral so fast.
Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian have taken to their accounts to share the message on their stories. These influencer juggernauts both sit in the top 10 of most followed accounts on Instagram, boasting follower counts of 361 million and 326 million, respectively.
The unnerving thing about this for Instagram is that Jenner has a history of impacting social media platforms with her opinions on their functionality and updates.
In 2018, Jenner took to her Twitter to share her feelings on Snapchat’s new features:
The infamous Tweet has been said to be a significant element of Snapchat’s stock dropping 6% that very week, which was an estimated loss of between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion in market value.
Similarly to the current situation, a petition was also created to change Snap back to its original format which generated 1.2 million signatures. And it worked! Between the overwhelming response from the public and Jenner’s comments, Snapchat moved backwards on some of their controversial updates to make the app more in line with what it once was.
So the question is: will Instagram be as receptive to public opinion as Snapchat was?
Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri did not take much time in responding to the widespread criticism of the new updates, albeit not mentioning the petition or Jenner/Kardashian directly.
Taking to his Twitter, Mosseri released a video statement to touch on the three aforementioned areas of concern. In a nutshell, Adam wanted to assure users that while a lot of these features are very much still in a testing phase, the data indicates that users are engaging with video content much more than photos, so they will continue to move forward in chasing this trend.
He signed off by inviting users to comment on his Twitter post with any questions or feedback that they might have for him to digest and respond to, which thousands of followers have already taken the time to do.
So what happens now? Your guess is as good as ours. Instagram might cave to the overwhelming response from the public and rewind some of the changes they are making to better reflect their heritage and what made them incredibly popular in the first place, but they are just as likely to continue to chase TikTok in order to regain the control over all generations of users.
All we know is – when Kylie Jenner speaks on Social Media, owners best listen!