In recent days, citizens of the world wide web have collectively joined forces to throw shade on what was once, almost consensually speaking, our favorite photo-sharing app (read: Instagram). Those that in the past had a thing for the now Meta-owned platform are pointing at it for having completely changed and to some extent derailed from its initial purpose. From its first launch to now, it’s true, there’s not much left of what most of us had initially signed up for.
We’ve seen the trend of photo-dumps make a sensational comeback in recent times, with perfectly-curated feeds slowly, but surely, disappearing. Profiles are back to being messy and are now, at least a tiny bit more, representative of what our daily lives actually look like (although there is still a subtle art to master when it comes to posting random carousel pictures.)
With that being said though, that’s probably the only half-decent thing we’ve seen pop up on what used to be one of the youth’s favorite apps. And let’s face it, that small change of content really came from the bottom up and not the other way round.
Love it how we all have been serving apps with our content for years and we are now pushed to change mediums- a change that has the power to kill an artist’s career if their art does not happen to be a 2 second video… #instagram #instagramupdate pic.twitter.com/giWCLecjpP
— 1 Granary (@1Granary) July 27, 2022
With time, Instagram, which was founded in 2010, saw a slew of changes go past its interface, logo, and algorithm. In a couple of years, Instagram went from that iconic polaroid looking-camera to the extremely ick-inducing, and unaesthetic, red emblem, removing likes (which wasn’t that bad of an idea TBH), and posts now showing up depending on how viral they are instead of when they actually came out.
Sponsored content and posts from accounts you don’t follow, for whatever reason, now appear much more frequently than they ever used to, and always above any of the actual pictures, photos, or even memes you consciously clicked to stay up to date with. Bring back the old timeline system for God’s sake!
Instagram has a long history of knocking off from competitor apps out there in the market. After snatching Snapchat’s story concept, and temporary photo messaging, it’s now TikTok’s turn to see its world-famous, and very addictive, central feature be replicated on IG. And we’re not the only ones who think so.
The new Instagram update really understood what I was looking for:
– none of my friends’ content
– reposted TikToks from meme accounts I do not follow
– 100x more ads
– everything played at full volume against my will
— Meg Watson (@msmegwatson) July 14, 2022
This week, the photo-sharing app found itself under fire over how much it has changed. On Monday, Kylie Jenner, the beauty mogul with the third most followers on Instagram (361 million), shared an image on her Stories that read: “Make Instagram Instagram again. (stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends.) Sincerely, everyone.”
She captioned the image with a “PLEASEEEEEEE,” a sentiment that was later echoed by her half-sister Kim Kardashian, who reposted the same image on her Stories, writing “PRETTY PLEASE.”
The celebrity pile-on prompted Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, to respond to the criticism, revealing that the (what used to be a) photo-sharing app is shifting to video. However, following that statement and mounting pressure from users, Mosseri has since decided to rethink the group’s strategy, and halt the ongoing changes. In an interview with Platformer, the US entrepreneur claimed to be willing to take into account the feedback that has been overly shared so far.
“I’m glad we took a risk — if we’re not failing every once in a while, we’re not thinking big enough or bold enough,” he said. “But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup. [When] we’ve learned a lot, then we come back with some sort of new idea or iteration. So we’re going to work through that.”
Unfortunately, Instagram mimicking rival company TikTok is just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t even get us started on the amount of fake accounts and bots flooding the app with some serious and unnecessary bullshit.
In Mike Tyson’s own words, “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth,” and Instagram’s punch might eventually come from its once loyal users that will now probably find another platform where they’ll be able to find what they’re looking for: keeping in contact with close circles and snapping bits and bobs from their everyday shenanigans. Because spiritually, Instagram is trash and unless the US-based site steers its boat back to what initially made its fame, their days are numbered as they’re probably just one other update away from being totally canceled.