Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner share Instagram criticism

By Liv McMahon
Technology team

  • Published
Smartphone displaying Instagram Reels logo beside another smartphone showing TikTok's logoImage source, Getty Images

Reality TV stars Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have joined Instagram content creators in criticising the platform's new design.

Ms Kardashian and Ms Jenner shared posts on their Instagram Stories asking the Meta-owned platform to "make Instagram Instagram again".

Instagram has recently shifted its focus from individual posts to its own short video format Reels.

But some users are telling Instagram to "stop trying to be TikTok".

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri admitted in a Reel on Tuesday that there has been "a lot of change all at once" on the platform.

While reassuring viewers photos will stay on Instagram as "part of our heritage", he said he believes Instagram will become more video-based over time.

Instagram will need "to lean into that shift" of what people like, consume, share and view on Instagram to video - while still supporting photos, he added.

He noted that other features causing concern for creators, such as a full-screen mode, recommendations and visibility of friends' posts, will be subject to further improvement.

"We're going to stay in a place where we try and put your friends' content at the top of feeds and in front of stories whenever possible," he said.

"But we're also going to need to evolve because the world is changing quickly. And we're going to have to change along with it."

The platform announced new tools for creators using its Reels feature on 21 July, letting them "Remix" previous public photo posts as Reels and simultaneously film and react to content on front and back cameras with a "Dual" feature.

Instagram also revealed that new videos which are less than 15 minutes long will be automatically uploaded as Reels in coming weeks.

INSTAntaneous

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
With approximately 360million followers, Kylie Jenner is the most followed woman on Instagram

Her tweet followed a controversial Snapchat re-design in response to increased competition from alternative social media platforms.

After referring to Snapchat as her "first love" in a follow-up tweet, Ms Jenner helped to accelerate a drastic share slide for Snap which wiped $1.3bn (£1bn) off the company's stock in a day.

At the time of writing, Ms Jenner has 360million followers on Instagram and Ms Kardashian has 325million.

Image source, Instagram

Both shared a post to their followers on Monday which said "Make Instagram Instagram again" and in brackets added "stop trying to be tiktok i just want to see cute photos of my friends".

Ms Kardashian added "pretty please" when sharing this on her Story, while Ms Jenner seconded this by adding "pleaseeeeeee" on her own.

The original post, uploaded as a meme by 21-year-old photographer and content creator Tati Bruening, has now been shared across Instagram and made its way onto other social platforms like Twitter.

Ms Bruening says she was scrolling through Instagram last week when she noticed her friends' photos missing from her feed.

"I was getting quite frustrated, so half-jokingly made a meme about it and posted it," she said.

She added that while the post just came from a place of "momentary frustration", it's not surprising that it "started getting shared around the photography community and expanded from there".

"I'm all for the app evolving and adding features like Reels," she said, but added there is a "stark difference" between what sort of content used to be visible on Instagram feeds and now.

She says this left many who grew their platform as photographers on Instagram wondering "how they're going to further their platform on an app that no longer favours the content that they create".

Ms Bruening's petition, calling on Instagram to bring back chronological timelines and "an algorithm which favours photos" now has more than 140,000 signatures.

"We just want to see when our friends post," the petition states. "The beauty of Instagram was that it was INSTAntaneous."

The authors added: "Back in the dawn of the app we were all living in the moment, seeing our best moments in real time."