More than 181,000 people (at the time of writing) have signed an online petition demanding that Meta “make Instagram Instagram again: stop trying to be tiktok i just want to see cute photos of my friends”.
It’s a cry from the heart against Instagram’s increasing focus on video and the evolution of its algorithmic recommendations of content in people’s feeds. Why is this particular petition proving popular? Well, the backing of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian doesn’t hurt: both have shared the petition to their hundreds of millions of followers on Instagram.
That’s something of a Code Red for any social platform: remember Snapchat’s parent company’s market cap diving $1.3bn after a single negative tweet by Jenner?
No wonder Instagram boss Adam Mosseri was quickly posting his own video acknowledging the criticisms, but also defending the app’s evolution. He admitted that Instagram’s tests of TikTok-style full-screen content is “not yet good”, and promised that Instagram will “continue to support photos”.
However: “I need to be honest. I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time.” This is based, he said, on what Instagram users are creating, liking and viewing. “We’re going to have to lean in to that shift while continuing to support photos…”
While the involvement of Kardashians has elevated this to bona-fide internet drama, there are some big, important trends here that are very relevant to musicians and music marketers, so it’s worth following.