If you’ve noticed a change in the way your favorite social media platform works lately, you’re not alone.
Even Kylie Jenner, arguably the world’s most online person, was fed up with it this week when she learned of recent changes to Instagram’s algorithm, which helps brands and companies track content on their own. Prefers more short videos of strangers. to follow
“Make Instagram Instagram again,” complained Jenner to her 360 million followers. “Stop trying to be TikTok, I just want to see cute pics of my friends. Honestly, everyone,” she said in the story, which her sister Kim Kardashian shared with her 330 million followers.
The family that essentially invented the concept of social media influencers to push back against attempts by social media companies to influence what we see is how meteoric rise has come.
Founded in 2016, TikTok has seen explosive growth during the pandemic and has become the most downloaded app in the world in 2022, racking up billions of users.
It only allows users to share videos, and it works with brands and influencers to promote products in those videos. This business model is starting to eat into the profits of more established social media companies.
Financial results point to changing landscape
Meta Inc., which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, this week revealed financial results that indicate how rapidly the social media landscape is changing.
For the first time in its history as a public company, Facebook saw its revenue decline in the three months leading up to the end of June. And it expects that trend to continue this quarter.
There is a certain irony to the growth of these platforms that Instagram began as a service that shared still photos, and its sheer success resulted in Facebook buying the app. Video then became the latest trend following the introduction of the video messaging app Snapchat, which prompted Facebook and Instagram to introduce features that allowed users to share short videos.
According to Richard Lachman, director of the School of Creative at Toronto Metropolitan University, Instagram’s latest push for more videos is the latest step in that evolution.
“Facebook and Instagram were seeing a reduction in the size of their audiences, so they are trying to chase the niche where the discussion takes place,” he said in an interview.
As of now, the main weapon in the arsenal of Facebook and Instagram has been trying to imitate TikTok.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri explained what the company was doing in a video this week — let’s say, that video was released on TikTok itself — confirming suspicions that it was due to “several different changes to the app.” was experimenting with.”
There’s a lot happening on Instagram right now.
I wanted to address some of the things we are working on to make Instagram a better experience.
Please tell me what do you think pic.twitter.com/x1If5qrCyS
“I need to be honest. I believe that over time there is going to be more and more Instagram videos,” he said, admitting that many users are upset by the changes. “It’s not good yet,” he admitted bluntly.
Pushback from super-users like Jenner has prompted a rethink, as the company told CBC News in a statement this week that it would “pause” full-screen testing and recommend users receive from outside of them. Will “temporarily reduce” the number. Network.
For its rivals, the lesson of TikTok’s blatant success is that people want more video content. And to the concern of some of their users, these rivals are adjusting their business models to offer more video – whether users want it or not.
“The problem with these platforms is that they are based on endless [engagement] development,” Lachman said. “But ultimately they’re competing for limited hours [so they] eventually mimic each other’s characteristics, not always successfully.”
He says that sometimes the effort to be everything to all users “doesn’t sit so well with users who already know and like the platform.”
Different platforms have different uses
Toronto-based fitness and parenting influencer Marlee Cohen, who posts on both platforms under the names Kale and Crunches, says she’s quite aware of change as both a content creator and a user.
In an interview with CBC News, she said, “As a producer, I think I’m eyeing TikTok right now, and that’s because the algorithm is feeding us the kind of content we want to see. “
“I understand that other apps want to stick with that and keep our attention on them as well, but as a consumer, I find this extremely frustrating because I can use different platforms for different things. I go.”
Cohen joined Instagram in 2015, and says it quickly became her favorite medium because of her sense of community. By 2017, she had enough of a following that she was able to quit her corporate job and become a full-time content creator.
While her Instagram followers have crossed 60,000 today, she says she has managed to double that figure on TikTok in a very short span of time.
Users are pushing back
Because TikTok’s algorithm prioritizes the content that people respond to, regardless of the creator’s number of followers, Cohen says it allows talented creators to find audiences quickly.
But for many Instagram users, the platform’s attempt to mimic the success of TikTok means offering them content they don’t necessarily want.
Several users on the streets of Toronto this week expressed their disappointment with the use of Instagram.
“It takes away from the original version,” Rachel Wong told CBC News. “I personally like photos more.”
Taking pictures for his Instagram feed in the city of Toronto, Oleh Dehtyrov said that he prefers Instagram over TikTok for the same reason.
“I’m more into photographs. I don’t mind some video shots, but I think if it’s just video, they can be quite annoying.”
Instagram’s sudden push of video over photos also increases the demand for content creators, who have to produce high-quality content to rise above the fray.
That’s where people like Drake Andrews and Kyle Pretzlaff come in.
He is the founder of Cozen Creative, a digital-focused marketing studio that helps people and brands fine-tune their online presence for social media audiences and create content that is best viewed on TikTok.
Unlike text or still photo-based platforms, they say video has massive marketing potential if done properly.
“You get to show your personality. You get to be a little more authentic and connect with the audience,” Andrews told CBC News in an interview while shooting the video for a barbershop.
“At the end of the day it’s going to be more important and impactful.”
fight to stay relevant
Andrews says Instagram’s strategy is essential to staying relevant.
“In any business you have to adapt to what is happening in the market,” he said. “You don’t want to be Zellers. You don’t want to be MySpace.”
While Andrews acknowledges that the user backlash is very real, he doesn’t see the video in the pan as flash and says those who don’t adapt will be left behind.
“It’s going to be dated and people are going to treat it more like Facebook, where it’s left for the older generation,” he said of Instagram.
“The younger generation is not going to go into it because they already have TikTok and have adopted the platform.”