Make Instagram Instagram Again

make instagram instagram again

Have you heard of the Make Instagram Instagram Again protest? Many users of Instagram protest against recent updates of the app and the direction where is heading. With too many Reels, we cannot see our friends’ posts, decreasing the role of photos and the way the new Instagram feed works and looks like. We do not want Instagram to become a TikTok-like app.

Is Instagram still for us?

Over the last little while, I’ve been writing about social media, trends and the opportunities it offers to MICE industry representatives. I’ve written about LinkedIn, Twitter, but I’ve always wanted to write about Instagram. For a number of reasons. One of them is that I have been using this app almost since its launch. For 11 years I have been able to watch it evolve. From a niche iPhone-only smartphone app that was created to share square photos with the ability to add filters and hashtags, to the multimedia platform as it is today.

I still believe that Instagram can be an important platform to promote not only leisure tourism but also business tourism and the MICE industry.

Community is (was) important for the founders

For the founders of Instagram (Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger), community and the opportunity for app users to meet each other in the real world were very important from the start.

In short, this is how the so-called Instameets were created. Around the world, groups of mobile photography enthusiasts called Instagramers, also known as Igers, began to form. It all started thanks to Phil Gonzalez in Madrid. Today there are more than 500 groups, including more than 20 in Poland.

I don’t write about it just because I am closely connected to the Igers community by founding the first Polish Igers group in Gdansk in 2011, running IgersPoland since 2014 or from overseas experience as an active participant in IgersLondon meetings and founder of the IgersCambridge group in the UK. I am writing about this as an interesting phenomenon you may not have heard of yet. The number of more than 2.4 posts with the hashtag #igerspoland on Instagram shows how much reach this has.

I’m also talking about Instagram and communities from the perspective of the MICE industry. Building an engaged community alongside sustainability, green events, diversity, wellbeing, inclusion, and hybrid/virtual events…. is one topic that is often discussed at, for example, IBTM or IMEX. I know from experience that creating and running a community is a demanding and time-consuming process.

Event managers of Instagram

Instagram, like no other app, has changed the world. Of course, I am also aware of the negative aspects of Instagram, especially among young people.

On the other hand, one of the positive aspects is the possibility to go from the online world to the real world thanks to organised events called Instameets. For 10 years in Poland alone, Igers has organised almost 300 Instameets in various locations such as airports, museums, tourist attractions, theatres, hotels and conference centres. It can be said that they are the event managers of Instagram.

It is also worth mentioning that mobile photographers in Poland have their own special conference Yes, I`m Mobile, Mobile Photography Festival, which was organised again this year in Wrocław.

Are you new on Instagram?

If someone were to start an Instagram adventure today I think he/she would be overwhelmed by the multitude of options the app offers:

  • photos
  • videos
  • Insta Stories
  • Reels
  • IGTV
  • Live streaming
  • Shop

From a marketing point of view, it would almost require a separate full-time job to run a corporate account professionally these days due to the possibilities and time-consuming nature of creating compelling content and building a community around a brand or topic.

Read also on my blog:

 Love-hate relationship with Instagram

Despite all the adventures with mobile photography, I have to admit that I have had a love-hate relationship with Instagram for over a year. Problems with:

  • spam
  • fake accounts
  • low organic reach of posts
  • and moving away from the community.

I’ve had my account blocked twice, and after getting it back, I received a message from Instagram saying “Sorry for the mistake”. This is very frustrating.

In addition, this constant making the second TikTok out of Instagram, Reels promoted by Instagram’s algorithms (What are Reels on Instagram? The ability to publish short videos like on TikTok), or even the statement over a year ago that Instagram is no longer an app for photographers.

“Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app” – Adam Mosseri, June 30th 2021

I get it, video content currently generates the most reach and all the big players want to adapt (see Youtube Shorts). However, I feel that since Instagram was purchased by Facebook (now Meta) in 2012, the app has become a testbed for various new developments. Instagram Stories  (copying the Snapchat app) have been positively embraced by users, and IGTV (competition for Youtube) has not been a very successful move.

„Stop trying to be TikTok. I just want to see cute photos of my friends. Sincerely, everyone”. – Tati Breuning, @illumitati, July 29th 2022

Could Instagram just be Instagram and not TikTok?

Possibly yes. There is an online initiative called Make Instagram Instagram launched by American photographer Tati Breuning @illumitati. She posted this photo and even made an accompanying petition with her demands on Change.org.

Make Instagram Instagram Again protest IG content creators

Credits: Tati Bruening www.illumitati.com

Many leading content creators and Instagram influencers have criticised Meta. Instagram owners have realised (or at least noted) that they’ve gone a bit overboard with the latest changes. After providing some users with a new version of the app, which now looks almost like TikTok, Instagram explained that it was only a beta version and was unlikely to roll it out to all users.

Although, on the other hand, Adam Mosseri in a special video published at the end of July, advises users to get used to the changes and that Instagram will continue to promote short videos and the app`s evolution.

 

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Post udostępniony przez Adam Mosseri (@mosseri)

The new way of presenting posts in the feed, recommendations and forcing the creation of Reels seem to step too far for many users. Will this stop radical change? Maybe, but I remember a similar outcry when ads first appeared on Instagram. Then, too, many people declared to abandon Instagram …

As users, content creators and marketers, we will soon see how the app will change and it will be up to us to decide whether to stay and adapt or break up with Instagram.

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