Influencers in Rebellion – Is the Instagram Bubble Finally Bursting?

You don’t have to be a Silicon Valley tech-wise to know that getting on the wrong side of the Kardashians/Jenners is foolish. Four years ago, when Kylie Jenner, the most followed woman on Instagram, told her 361 million followers that she was no longer using Snapchat, the company lost more than $1 billion in value in a single day. So, when the 24-year-old queen of influence expressed her disapproval of a recent unpopular Instagram redesign, Mark Zuckerberg, who owns parent company Metta, was quick to react. Jenner added her powerful influence to a group of angry social media users who were calling on tech chiefs to remake Instagram.

This comes after Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced via video that the photo-sharing app will be experimenting with a few changes. “We will continue to support the images, it is part of our heritage,” the 39-year-old said. “But I need to be honest. I believe Instagram is becoming more and more video over time. The update opens up to full-screen photos and videos, just like traditional rival TikTok does. and shows users more algorithm-recommended content from accounts they don’t follow, rather than posts from their family and friends.The response was immediate.

Before Zuckerberg could see the two TikToks, the ‘Make Instagram Instagram Again’ petition was shared by reality star Jenner with the comment: “Stop trying to be TikTok. I just want to see cute pictures of my friends.” Sincerely, everyone.” Her sister, Kim Kardashian (who has 327 million followers on the platform), later joined in, adding: “Please. Beautiful please.” Chrissy Teigen, who has 38.6 million followers, wrote: “I don’t see my real friend’s posts and she doesn’t see mine.”

It did the trick: Mossry announced that he was rolling back the changes and that the redesign would be phased in within weeks. Industry insiders can sense the fear and just days after the U-turn it was announced that Sir Nick Clegg, head of global affairs at Boss Mossry and Metta, would be moving to London, working out of Instagram’s King’s Cross office and more. Will hire developers. Among the ranks of the UK Meta 4,000 strong workforce.

An insider said he had known about the move for months and it was reported elsewhere that part of the decision was Mossari’s desire to move to London with his wife Monica. But to many it seems like a crisis move. Indeed, a leaked memo from Meta in June suggested that the company was concerned about competition from other social media platforms and that it was increasing its use of algorithmically generated content. And last week Meta, which also owns Facebook and WhatsApp, posted its first revenue decline. Another reason for the move was to save money, a Meta insider told the Meczyki. “The cost of hiring engineering staff in California is more expensive than anywhere else in the world. So Meta (and other big tech companies) are keen to build big engineering centers in London and elsewhere.

Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg stands alongside Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global policy communications and former UK deputy prime minister.

/ AFP via Getty Images

Additionally, since new EU regulations have come in that set a comprehensive standard for regulating the digital space, it makes sense for Instagram to be at the center of the process. “There is a growing sense that elements of the platform need to start approaching things from a more global perspective – so Adam is spending more time in London. European regulation moves faster which means we as a company As do, so more people in the UK means more understanding.

However, skeptics speculate that the atmosphere is one of panic. In July, a concerned Zuckerberg told his staff that Meta was experiencing “one of the worst downturns in recent history.” He announced that he would cut recruitment plans and that bosses would be encouraged to identify staff who were not pulling their weight. “Realistically, there are probably a lot of people in the company who shouldn’t be here,” he said. “Part of my hope is to raise expectations and set more aggressive goals, and turn up the heat a little bit, is that I think some of you might decide that this place isn’t for you, and that’s self-selection. It’s okay with me.”

Experts say this upheaval against a younger, more sophisticated rival like TikTik is surprising. “This is something we’ve seen in the past with Meta-owned apps and services,” said Chris Stokel-Walker, tech journalist and author of TikTok Boom: China’s Dynamite App and Superpower Race for Social Media. “An app will become very popular, then become complacent, and be overtaken by the next big thing. Then the owners panic and try to copy the competitor by borrowing bits of it. Then it becomes a Frankenstein’s monster app that no one really likes. They either have to abandon it or double down. The public outcry shows that people don’t want a second-rate TikTok.

Stokel-Walker believes there has been a fundamental shift in the way we use social media over the past few years, and whether we like it or not, videos are here to stay. “We now live in a world where every app has a short form of vertical video content — Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat. Videos are more dynamic and easier to produce. Videos are more dynamic, more engaging. ” There is a theory that the epidemic was a factor in the change. “Most people’s feeds were glam photos on holiday, in nightclubs, in restaurants – all that stopped for the best part of 18 months. It created a paradigm shift.” This has fueled people’s appetite for entertainment on social media, especially for entertainment carefully tailored to them.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is moving to London.

/ Ramona Rosales

Olivia Wedderburn, head of social and influencer, said, “TikTok stole my heart when it quickly identified that I was a woman in my twenties who worked in social media, especially pop culture. From, loved Asian cooking, bad nineties movies and post-punk.” At creative agency TMW Unlimited. “When I go to Instagram, it’s only a woman in her twenties. It shows me pregnancy videos, big white weddings, and weaning tips that make me panic. are because I oscillate between angry and inadequate. No wonder swathes are closing.”

Now Instagram, which is 12 years old, is having an identity crisis, not knowing whether to return to a historical, image-led timeline or continue its mission to flood feeds with recommended video content. . Content creators are confused. Malvika Sheth, 23, who has 90,000 followers on Instagram and 13,000 on TikTok, said: “I don’t know what Instagram wants me to prioritize in the long run – it’s always changing… so my current stance is just on rails. There’s a mix to be had. (short videos) and photos. I’m glad they rolled out the reels, I just wish they’d make up their minds on what to prioritize. And it’s just as bad for the audience. One person complained on Twitter: “The new Instagram update really got what I was looking for: any content from my friends, TikTok reposts from meme accounts I don’t follow, 100 times more ads and everything played at full volume against my will.”

While TikTok has only half the user base of Instagram, it grows at a much faster rate. From 2020 to 2021 it gained 400 million users while Instagram took three years to grow its user base from one billion to two billion.

Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner are leading the Insta Rebellion.

/ Tragedy stock photo

We were introduced to TikTok in 2016 by the Chinese company ByteDance. It was a platform where you could watch shared short clips of anything you liked—usually people joking, dancing, singing, and having fun. It caught people’s attention, especially the Gen Z demographic. Not only does it now have more downloads than Instagram and Facebook, but a recent survey found that TikTok has overtaken the BBC as the primary source of news videos for young people.

As for Instagram, Stokel Walker believes tech chiefs will follow the data. “Mosseri basically said we hear you but we know better. He still thinks the future is video. We can be loud and ask for the old Instagram back but the engagement figures Turns out we prefer videos. Insta will delay its changes for a while but will eventually continue.

Ellen Judson, who runs the Center for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos, agrees. “Ultimately, these are private companies: they are not public service providers. So they are going to respond to global market trends rather than to the experiences, needs or interests of citizens. And thus shape people’s lives online. Wally will remain a dominant force — how can platforms make more money?

A Meta spokesperson told the Meczyki: “Based on our findings and feedback from the community, we’re stopping the full-screen test on Instagram so we can explore other options, and we’re changing what you see in your feed. Temporarily reducing the number of recommendations so we can improve the quality of your experience.

“We recognize that changes to the app can be an adjustment and while we believe Instagram needs to evolve with the changing world, we want to take the time to make sure we get this right. Get it.”