Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently – or have more of a grip on social media than the majority of the population – you would’ve noticed Instagram pushing reel upon reel into your face every time you open the app.
In a bid to compete with TikTok, Instagram has been pivoting to video content for a while now. But in recent months, it’s been almost impossible to find any semblance of the old Instagram — aka photos of your friends, family and people you follow — on the algorithm at all.
In fact, for some reason mine has almost exclusively shown me reels of different ways you can make overnight oats (carrot cake flavoured, for example!) for literal weeks now. And though I’ll admit, the breakfast option does look tasty, I’d much rather see still images – that’s right, not videos! – and my friends, not oats.
It turns out, Kylie Jenner, the second biggest person in the world on Instagram with 361 million followers (soccer player Christiano Ronaldo is first place), agrees. On Tuesday night, Jenner shared an infographic about the app’s changes which had been doing the rounds all day since being first shared by photographer Tati Bruening, who goes by @illumitati. It reads, “Make Instagram Instagram Again (stop trying to be TikTok, I just want to see cute photos of my friends.) Sincerely, Everyone.”
Soon after, Jenner’s older sister Kim Kardashian, who boasts a cool 326m, shared the same thing. So too did Chrissy Teigen and James Charles.
Now, given the last time Jenner criticised an app, when in 2018 she tweeted: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me …”, the company lost over $1 billion, we’d say her plea will be taken pretty seriously by the people at the top.
In fact, though he didn’t mention Jenner, nor the Change.org petition that was started with the same demands, Instagram’s head and former Facebook exec Adam Mosseri shared a timely video addressing the updates.
During a two-minute video, Mosseri claimed the changes were put in place to create a “better experience” and are still being tested to justify why feeds are either out of order and/or showing “recommended” content instead of peoples’ actual followings, impacting engagement.
“Now, if you’re seeing things in your Feed that are recommendations that you’re not interested in, that means that we’re doing a bad job ranking,” he explained. “And we need to improve.” He added that Instagram thinks the recommendations feature “is one of the most effective and important ways to help creators reach more people.” Mosseri, if you’re listening, no more oats, please, I’m begging you.