Instagram Rolling Back ‘TikTok Wannabe’ Test Features After Huge Backlash
Every now and then, a company tries something that doesn't go over well with their loyal customer base. Remember "new
Every now and then, a company tries something that doesn't go over well with their loyal customer base. Remember "new Coke?" or "crystal Pepsi?" How about when all of the jeans' companies switched every single women's pair to stretch material?
Luckily, those companies have not been irredeemable – Coke Classic is here to stay, Crystal Pepsi is a cute relic they trot out for limited runs, and you can find honest-to-goodness real denim in the stores again.
But what happens when your favorite social media platform changes everything in the name of "progress" and updating? Turns out, you throw a big stink – and they roll it back.
Instagram, owned by parent company Meta, recently tried to capitalize on the TikTok craze.
Playing around with features, they rolled out some wannabe TikTok features that have users in an uproar.
Hollywood Reporter explains, "Some of the new test features, which rolled out to some Instagram users over the past few weeks, included a full-screen feed that emphasized short-form videos on Reels and an increase in recommended posts from accounts that users are not following."
Immediately though, big-name users like Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen and others shared thoughts about the features, and they weren't flattering thoughts.
The only people I know that post a lot to stories are the ones that know their photos get no engagement any longer so they are doing the thing they find second best. If photos got the engagement they wanted, they wouldn’t do so many (mostly uneventful) stories.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, tried explaining – but no one seemed enthused.
Teigan duked it out in the comments with Mosseri on Twitter, explaining that creators don't want to make videos, they want to share images. And Kylie and Kim Kardashian shared a post from a photographer named Tati Bruening (@illumitati), captioned, "I’m starting a movement. Let’s bring back the old instagram, share this to your stories and SIGN MY PETITION. LINK ON MY STORY.
SHARE THIS EVERYWHEREEEEE LETS F—ING GOOOOOOOOOOOO."
But it wasn't just stars with thoughts on the test features.
Average users called them, "unnecessary," and "a sad attempt to be like TikTok."
So Instagram did the only thing they could – they walked it all back. Or will be, soon – there's no set date for when the features will be fully rolled back, according to Meta.
I'm glad we took a risk — if we're not failing every once in a while, we're not thinking big enough or bold enough. But we definitely need to take a big step back and regroup. [When] we've learned a lot, then we come back with some sort of new idea or iteration. So we're going to work through that.”
While this may soothe ruffled feathers for now, users hope that this is a warning sign to Instagram that if they step too far out of their wheelhouse, users won't come along for the ride.
With as popular as TikTok has become in recent years, it's amazing that Instagram still has a growing niche of followers – after all, videos provide much more throughout communication than a single or even series of photographs.
However, the base's loyalty is owed wholly to creators like Teigen and the Kardashians who use the platform for quick snaps to connect with fans and then get on with their busy lives – and Instagram will have to remember who it is that brings people to their platform.