Here’s What Creators Are Saying About Instagram's Big Update
Yesterday, Instagram launched an app redesign that prioritizes Shopping and their TikTok knockoff, Reels, and today I woke up to this text from my friend: “Why is Instagram ugly and all about spending money :(.”
I’ve been on the internet long enough to remember joining fan pages titled “BRING BACK THE OLD FACEBOOK,” so at this point it’s well known that any app redesign will be the worst thing that’s ever happened—until everyone just gets used to it and moves on. But according to some creators, this Instagram update is more than just an unwelcome change: It’s Instagram deprioritizing users’ content in order to make money.
“As usual it is absolute trash and proves once again, as usual, that Instagram does not give a flying fuck about their creators or literally anybody that uses this app,” YouTuber James Charles says in a passionate Instagram story posted on Thursday. He cites Instagram’s refusal to alter their algorithm, which has not shown posts chronologically since 2016, but instead often surfaces outdated posts; and the company’s prioritization of the Reels and Shopping tabs over the post and notification buttons.
“Nobody fucking asked for Reels,” he cries.
Charles has been loudly frustrated with Instagram for a while, but now other creators are joining the chorus.
“Another day of Instagram making updates that literally nobody fucking asked for lol,” YouTuber Arnell Armon tweeted, adding, “They are literally destroying their platform, idiots.”
Another day of Instagram making updates that literally nobody fucking asked for lol— arnellarmon (@arnellarmon) November 12, 2020
“Instagram updates EVERY FEATURE but our timelines STILL AINT IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER,” musician and podcaster Jessie Woo echoed.
Filmmaker @LinusAndHisFilmLab got more specific:
“instagram changing out the notifications tab for a SHOP tab is diabolical...taking advantage of a decade of muscle memory to push a shitty marketplace in our faces! bro... we just want our friends to see our photos, and for our posts to be high res. its NOT hard.”
It’s not all doom and gloom. Some users say the shopping tab makes their business more seamless, and others are praising the lesser-known changes, like high-contrast icons.
Oh hi there Instagram update with higher contrast icons!— Alexa Heinrich (she/her) (@HashtagHeyAlexa) November 12, 2020
Love this. Great for users who have vision disabilities. pic.twitter.com/8iYKEQpKQZ
In its announcement of the changes, Instagram says these updates were made to keep up with “how people create and enjoy culture.”
“The biggest risk to Instagram is not that we change too fast, but that we don’t change and become irrelevant,” head of Instagram Adam Mosseri wrote in a blog post. “We’re excited about the new design and believe it gives the app a much-needed refresh, while staying true to our core value of simplicity.”