Like ‘em, hate ‘em or simply don’t see the appeal, you can’t deny when the ultimate influencers bitch, the platforms take notice. In this case, the Kardashians are now the mouthpiece for a ton of users that are sick of Meta trying to copy TikTok.
Their message is – we like Instagram for what it is, stop trying to make it something it’s not.
Meta had previously run a test version of its Instagram app which spoon fed users algorithmically recommended videos. In addition, they also changed the layout to full-screen photos and videos. The layout update in particular really caused a lot of ranting. In May, I covered the story which had users lighting up Twitter like a Christmas tree. As for the onslaught of suggested videos showing up in people’s feed, the Kardashians want Instagram to stop shoving suggested content down their throats.
For cam models, this is a double-edged sword as on the one hand, you want your followers to be concentrating on your posts not a bunch of other stuff they’re getting thrown at them by Meta, on the other hand you also want your stuff to be recommended to new users, right? So, it’s a positive and a negative depending on how you look at it.
As far as the full-screen size, I’m not sure anyone was on board with that update – it was just plain obnoxious.
Whatever the case, the Kardashians have spoken, and things are changing. As reported on by CNBC, sisters Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian did not mince words posting to their hundreds of millions of Instagram followers: “Make Instagram Instagram Again,” and “Stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends.”
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri did his best to do damage control by talking to the Platformer newsletter and assuring users that the recommended posts and layout update would be phased out in the next weeks.
“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,” Mosseri 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.”
CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg clarified their stance, stating that they’d show fewer recommendations, but that it would be temporary. They think it’s a problem with their personalization tools (not that they’re trying to be TikTok as the Kardashians said).
“When you discover something in your feed that you didn’t follow before, there should be a high bar — it should just be great,” Mosseri said. “You should be delighted to see it. And I don’t think that’s happening enough right now. So, I think we need to take a step back, in terms of the percentage of feed that are recommendations, get better at ranking and recommendations, and then — if and when we do — we can start to grow again.” (“I’m confident we will,” he added).
If they’re able to make every piece of recommended content valid to users, it will be an improvement. You can then be sure your suggested posts are going to those who would be interested. But once again, that can be good and bad – you could gain new fans, but your current followers will also see more content that’s not yours, adding a little competition.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Kardashians say when Meta thinks they’ve solved their algorithm problem and go back to upping that recommended content. Meanwhile it’ll be reduced for now and at least the full-size photo and video layout (which most everyone can agree sucks) is dunzo.
Alyssa Collins hails from Minnesota, where snowy days were the perfect excuse to stay warm inside and write. Over the years, she turned that joy into a career and has authored numerous articles for various publications (under pen names). Email Alyssa via firstname.lastname@example.org.