The American photographer and influencer Tati Bruening (known as Illumitati on her social networks) proclaimed a few days ago the need for Instagram to return to what it was before, favoring more vertical content, short videos mysteriously similar to those published on TikTok and recommendations from users other than those you follow. “Let Instagram be Instagram again. Stop trying to be TikTok, I just want to see cute pictures of my friends. Yours sincerely, everyone.” pray the post you shared three days ago. According to what he tells this newspaper by video call from Germany, Bruening had the idea of posting that after spending some time on Friday night on the application and realizing that none of the publications he saw interested him: “Everything was from people who I didn’t know or ads and almost everything was on video. I felt a bit frustrated,” she explains.
Since uploading that protest message to his Instagram profile, a platform on which he has 314,000 followers (which are now only increasing), the publication has added a million and a half ‘likes’. Among the users who followed in his footsteps and shared the post meets American celebrity Kylie Jenner, the second person with the largest number of followers in the world (360 million, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo), and his sister Kim Kardashian (326 million). “When I saw that she had shared it, Kylie thought they were playing a joke on me,” she says with a laugh.
Bruening did not settle for that initiative in the Instagram application itself: at the same time, created a petition on Change.org with the aim of achieving 150,000 signatures so that Instagram and its parent company, Meta, would listen to those who demand the return of the application as it was known until not so long ago. So far, it has added more than 146,000 signatures. As soon as it reaches 150,000, the goal that had been set at the beginning, the photographer explains that she will make an update to reach more people: “We can do even more.”
The director of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has responded today to the four demands included in the petition; just three days after Illumitati posted the image. The creator says she is happy to have received a response and believes that it is very positive that Instagram and its CEO have addressed users. “I wasn’t looking so much for an action from Instagram as for clear communication and dialogue with users and creators about the functionality of the app,” she explains. A couple of days ago, she shared a video in which she encouraged constructive criticism of the platform and defended that, whether they are users on the right or on the left, when it comes to nostalgia for the old Instagram, everyone match.
“The Reels are nothing more than tiktoks recycled”
One of the changes called for in the petition is a reversal of the strategy of the reels, the type of video that Instagram has included in recent times and that is too similar to the TikTok format, according to users. “We have TikTok for a reason. And let’s face it, the reels that go up are tiktoks recycled and contents that the whole world has already seen. What is innovative and unique about old and stolen content? Nothing!” proclaims the influencer on Change.org.
The director of Instagram has chosen for his statement precisely the reels; a decision probably motivated to claim the format in the face of criticism. In the video, Mosseri appears in his usual laid-back style, sitting forward and sitting on a table. “A lot of things are cooking on Instagram. We are getting a lot of concerns from all of you, so I wanted to take a moment to clarify a few things”, he began. Among those “things”, Mosseri has alluded to rumors of future changes and has insisted that, for those who have seen (or heard about) a version of the interface that fills the screen, it is simply a test aimed at a few a few users with the idea of trying a more immersive and fun experience, which, he acknowledges, still has a long way to go to be good enough. It is precisely that full-screen interface that is one of the features that is most reminiscent of TikTok.
In addition, the director has referred to what some have detected as a jump from the image (Instagram’s raison d’être since it was developed in 2010) to video (TikTok’s raison d’être). “We will continue to support images, it is part of our heritage, but I will be honest: I think that Instagram will host more and more videos over time, even if we did not change anything and keep the chronological order. This is perceived by the way in which the content is consumed and by what the users are publishing the most”, he insisted. However, Illumitati herself explains that, as a creator and photographer, she is faced with the obstacle of achieving the same engagement that takes place in the videos in their images: “It’s getting frustrating to get interactions when I post photos.”
Mosseri has also touched on the controversial algorithmic recommendations that so many users find annoying. According to the New York leader, this function has the objective that users discover what they do not know or that it exists, what they do not get to in any other way and that may be interesting to them, and he has recognized that, if they do not like these contents, it means that Instagram is doing something wrong. However, he has also recalled that any user can mark these recommendations as not interesting and even silence them for a month, and has claimed that this tool is essential for content creators to reach more people and grow. “We are not going to change some of these functions. We have to evolve with the world”, he concluded.
A good number of users have reacted to his statement with the Illumitati “make Instagram Instagram again” and have asked him to listen to them. Although he has not addressed those who have alluded to the already famous motto, yes, he has responded to some critics who have predicted an imminent end for the platform or have criticized his explanations (some stating that They don’t get the interactions. or the engagement desired), either by insisting on the explanations already offered, or by assuring that they are going to review the matter. For his part, Bruening hopes this will lead to a long-awaited change, though he wonders what will come of it.
Less than a week ago the CEO himself had announced plans to make Reels the only video format present on Instagram. Until now, it was possible to continue uploading a video to the profile in the “small” format of the photos and not necessarily vertically.