You know, I didn’t want to join Instagram, but I adopted a kitten who had an internet following, and wanted to know how the kitten was doing. For a while, I dutifully updated once a week. But then Instagram began to change.
Two big things happened in 2016. First, there were changes in the feed. algorithm. Well then. Then, a copy of Snapchat: The Story. whatever it was. I didn’t mind it. After a while, I stopped posting photos in favor of posting Stories because more people saw Stories. There were more ads blocking Stories, so I stopped watching. And I stopped posting pictures either Stories as many times.
Then came the ham-fisted video stuff: IGTV, which used to save as much as I could, and TikTok fake reels, which were so hard to avoid. This is where the algorithmic feed really annoys people a lot. I saw stuff pop up on social media about how to please algorithms: a certain number of stories, a certain number of reels. If you didn’t do what the algorithm wanted, people wouldn’t be able to easily see your post. But unlike influencers who have based their business on this platform, I could simply choose not to do so. I used less Instagram and spent more time on Reddit because I prefer text to video.
Now, there’s something to make the feed even worse: “Search.” That’s when a bunch of videos from people you don’t follow join your feed. That’s where we are with Instagram now. The people I’ve tried to follow – the people whose posts I want to see the most – are getting de-ranked for strangers’ videos.
Now come the Kardashians, who have said the new Instagram sucks. These women earn on Instagram; In fact, the platform deliberately wooed him and built himself around influential people like the Kardashians. Unlike me, they are really important components of Instagram, and so the platform’s head Adam Mosseri responded.
Feeling like a tired parent, Mosseri agreed that Instagram’s new feed sucked and that its recommendations could be bad And then told us it’s not going to get better. Instagram doesn’t care about photos anymore.
According to Mosseri, users of Instagram are shifting towards video. It could even be true! Of course, I didn’t want to switch to video and consequently stopped using the platform more and more. Meanwhile, people who use Instagram as a way to make money have been forced to post more videos to stay in people’s feeds. Doesn’t sound very organic if you ask me.
Instagram Facebookify is fun to watch because nobody wants to use Facebook. (I left in 2006, rejoining briefly to post ledge Before we automate our social process, and then leave.) People talk about Facebook like it’s a drag, and it’s rapidly increasing how they even talk about Instagram .
Platform changes are increasing people’s businesses for two reasons: One, because they have to reinvent everything. once again To try to please the algorithm, but two, because Instagram is turning away certain segments of the audience. I mean, if I want to watch a TikTok, I know? I literally fell for cat pictures on Insta.
But Facebook is in a difficult position. It has been renamed to “Meta”, which doesn’t exist yet and has to figure out how to keep the lights on while it “builds up the metaverse” or whatever. (What’s the killer app of the Metaverse, pray tell?) And Apple’s privacy push — “tell the app not to be tracked” — has cost Facebook $10 billion in lost revenue.
So changes suck, and Mosseri is telling us all that Facebook doesn’t care that changes suck. It’s trying to squeeze more and more growth-hacky engagement out of its legacy platforms. High-quality photos — Instagram’s core value proposition — matter less than scam ads for weight loss, speed (oh, sorry, “ADHD treatment”), and ketamine. One way to fall through that first Michael Kors ad! Looks like Instagram is in some important sense, above.
Look, I have quit various social media sites before. I know this feeling very well. Instagram is desperate, and no one likes you when you’re desperate. The question is mostly where do I go. BeReal is more fun, but it loads slowly, and I hate notifications. Twitter isn’t really for cat photos. Can someone make a simple photo app that isn’t sleazy and tell me where it is so my friends can join in? I have a lot of cat pictures that I want people to see.