Instagram vs. the Great Celebrity Gang-Up?
The photo-sharing app, owned by Meta, came under fire this week for how it’s changed over time. The stacking kicked off Monday, when Kylie Jenner, the beauty mogul with 361 million Instagram followers, shared an image on the site that read, “Recreate Instagram Instagram. (Stop trying to be tiktok, I just want cute pics of my friends.” see.) Best regards, everyone.’
With a “PLEASEEEEEEE” on her Instagram story, Ms. Jenner, who has the third most followers on the platform, lit the flame of celebrity criticism.
“PRETTY PLEASE,” Kim Kardashian, Ms. Jenner’s half-sister and seventh most followed Instagram user, echoed in a later story.
On Tuesday, Instagram’s head Adam Mosseri tried to quell users’ anger at how the app has rolled out features that make it more like TikTok, the hugely popular Chinese-owned video app. Instagram is concerned that TikTok is stealing the attention of its users.
To prevent a decline, Instagram recently started testing where videos were prioritized in user feeds and photos and videos took up the entire screen, from top to bottom, rather than a portion of it. Last week, it announced that all videos would be posted as Reels, which were introduced as short video montages, and launched features that encourage collaboration with other users.
In a post on Tuesday, Mr Mosseri said Instagram is shifting to video and people liked and shared more videos than photos, regardless of platform changes. “I have to be honest,” he said. “I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time.”
Mr Mosseri said Instagram was still in the early stages of change. “I also want to be clear. It’s not good yet,” he said of the update.
Celebrities like Ms. Jenner and Ms. Kardashian, who are good at social media, have been annoyed by changes on other platforms before — and have had an effect. In February 2018, after Snapchat updated its interface to require users to swipe between screens to access various features, Ms. Jenner said tweeted: “Sooo someone else isn’t opening Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh, this is so sad.”
Within a week, Snap, Snapchat’s parent company, had lost $1.3 billion in market value.
After Ms. Jenner and Ms. Kardashian expressed their dismay at Instagram on Monday, other celebrities jumped in.
“we don’t want to make videos Adam lol,” tweeted Chrissy Teigen, a model and author with 39 million Instagram followers, in response to Mr Mosseri’s post.
James Charles, a beauty YouTuber with 23 million Instagram followers, also made a comment on Instagram. “The reason there’s so much growth for video is because we’re FORCED to post video… The shift to video isn’t industry-wide, it’s TikTok-wide,” he said.
An Instagram spokeswoman said: “We don’t have much to share about the changes other than what Adam has said.”