High-profile users are not double-tapping Instagram’s TikTok obsession

26 Jul 2022

Image: © jroballo/Stock.adobe.com

The ‘Make Instagram Instagram Again’ petition has gained more than 130,000 signatures and caught the attention of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian.

Instagram is becoming increasingly like TikTok, and many are not happy.

Celebs such as Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, who are some of the most followed people on the platform, have expressed their annoyance at the spate of changes made to the photo-sharing app to make it more similar to TikTok.

The half-sisters both shared a screenshot of a post on their Instagram Stories yesterday (25 July), which urged Instagram to undo the changes.

“Make Instagram Instagram again,” the post read. “Stop trying to be TikTok, I just want to see cute pictures of my friends. Sincerely, everyone.”

This post is associated with a Change.org petition asking Instagram to bring back some of its lost features, such as chronological timelines and an algorithm that favours photos. Signed by more than 130,000 people so far, it urges Instagram to listen to existing creators instead of trying to entice new ones.

“There’s no need to overcomplicate things, we just want to see when our friends post, the beauty of Instagram was that it was instantaneous. Back in the dawn of the app we were all living in the moment, seeing our best moments in real time,” the petition reads.

“We have TikTok for a reason, and let’s face it, the only Reels uploaded are recycled TikToks and content that the world has already seen. What’s innovative and unique about old stale content? Nothing!”

The Verge reported in April that Instagram was planning to downrank Reels that resemble TikToks in a bid to promote original content.


Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, recently announced that it will automatically turn any Instagram video that is shorter than 15 minutes into a Reel – the app’s video feature that was launched to take on TikTok.

The idea is to double down on the video format and show users more content from accounts they don’t follow to increase reach. It is also part of plans to make a more immersive and full-screen experience on the app.

Facebook, too, is getting a makeover. Last week, Meta announced that the platform’s news feed is being split in two: one with an algorithm that shows you what your friends are up to, and another that curates personalised content in the form of Reels, Stories and posts.

All these changes to the Meta platforms may help it ride the wave of popularity TikTok is surfing on, especially among younger crowds. It comes as Facebook user numbers shrink and its earnings report this week is not expected to bear good news.

High-profile users speaking out about changes may have an impact.

In 2018, Jenner tweeted that she didn’t use Snapchat any more after an update redesigned the app. The next day, parent company Snap lost around $1.3bn in its market value.

With 360m followers on Instagram, Meta may have to take voices such as Jenner’s seriously.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic