“Make Instagram Instagram again”: The TikTok-style Instagram Update

Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

Is Instagram turning into TikTok? Here’s what’s changed on the platform – with a Kardashian-approved petition attempting to stop the transformation.


Instagram has been the subject of multiple changes over the past few months – but the latest overhaul has some calling the platform a ‘TikTok wannabe’. Some Instagram users have witnessed a significant change on their feed design, as the platform tests a more ‘immersive’ experience in which videos (Reels) are given more space on the feed. 

For these users, posts take up a larger space on the screen and the background has changed to black. In other words, it’s seemed to turn into a TikTok-esque, ‘For You Page’ format.


How the Instagram feed appears to those with the new update – looking increasingly similar to the TikTok ‘For You Page’.


Even if you haven’t received the full update, you’ll notice that short-form videos are given significant priority over photo-based posts, and posts from ‘suggested accounts’ continually appear on your feed. The algorithm now seems to be finding creators and accounts that match users’ interests and viewing history, and placing them higher on the feed than users’ own friends’ posts.



How the feed appears before the newest update – with accounts being ‘suggested’ to you according to your topics of interest.


It means that the Instagram experience is changing into a place of discovery rather than connection with friends and family- just like TikTok. This video-sharing app was primarily made for entertainment purposes and sharing dynamic content – and Instagram quickly caught on with the highly-shared video content, creating Reels in August 2020. 

Yet it seems that now, the video/image scales have been tipped slightly too far than Instagram users are comfortable with. While it’s true that short-form video content is highly shareable and engaging, and it’s understandable that Instagram has capitalised on this to optimise the user experience – it’s important that the platform keeps its original essence. 

Instagram was created in 2010 as a photo-sharing app, inspired by founder Kevin Systrom’s passion for photography. And its users’ love of creating and sharing a personal photo album with their nearest and dearest has never wavered, even in the face of change.


A step back in time: how Instagram used to look in 2014 – with a complete focus on users’ photos.


This is the sentiment behind the now-viral petition sweeping across the internet, calling to “Make Instagram Instagram again” and for the platform to “stop trying to be TikTok”. Created by Tati Bruening, the petition suggests bringing focus back to photos (not solely on video content) and re-introducing the chronological timeline that showed us our friends and family’s posts in real time.


Tati Bruening’s now-viral petition calling for the revival of the old Instagram platform.


Created only 3 days ago, this Change.org petition has now, rather incredibly, received over 134K signatures (at the time of publication) – if it reaches 150K it will be one of the top-signed petitions on the site. Notable signees include the influential queens of Instagram themselves, Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, who have added their voices to the ring and shared the petition on their Instagram Stories.

With high-flying influencers and creators also speaking up on the changes, it’s hoped that those behind the platform will listen to what the people seem to want. Which is: retain the original purpose of the app, alongside its move to include video-based content. 

This wave of mutual dissent over Instagram’s update isn’t about rejecting change. It’s about supporting the platform’s originality and preserving the reason it was created. Updates like Instagram Stories and the ‘Favourites’ filtered feed have been warmly received by users – but this feed overhaul seems to many like a step too far.


A recent addition to the platform is the ‘Favourites’ feed, which allows users to create a feed full of their favourite accounts and creators.



While we wait and see what becomes of this collective call for change (or rather, the retracing of steps), it’s important to stay on top of these fast-changing platforms and use popular features to your advantage. 

If video-based content is pushed more than photo-based posts by the Instagram algorithm, it’s vital to reflect this in your social media strategy, or you risk a low reach and an even lower engagement. It’s important to be flexible and responsive to change in this landscape – despite your personal preference – so you get the recognition and reach you’re looking for.

If you need help with keeping up with social media updates and staying ahead of the curve, get in touch with us today. We’re a team of digital marketing experts ready to help you take your brand to the next level – book a call with us now to discuss your strategy and goals 🚀