If you haven’t heard, Instagram is making some changes in the coming months, since apparently they feel threatened by TikTok. According to Instagram, their data and surveys show that users are more interested in a video platform where they can shop and message people.
I know I may not be a good example of the “common consumer” (I hate reels, I rarely watch video stories, I’m not sure I’ve ever purchased anything I’ve seen advertised on Instagram, and I don’t message a ton on the app…), but the comments on the announcement video are not at all positive either.
But, as much as I despise the new updates that Instagram has announced, I feel like I owe Instagram a thank you. So here is my open letter to Mr. Mosseri (which I know he will never read) and to you, my fellow consumers.
Dear Mr. Mosseri
Thank you for reminding me why my goal is not to be an “Instagram Influencer” and reminding me to ignore comments and “likes” and turn back to focusing on my own blog while utilizing the social media tools at my disposal in a mindful way. I can’t imagine building an identity or a career around a platform that can change on whim. Changing in ways that are wholly out of my control and may drastically affect my success or how I do things. Changes that could include the entire platform shutting down or morphing into something completely different. This sounds terrifying and absolutely awful. So thank you for that reminder.
Thank you for reminding me that even CEO’s of successful, multi-billion dollar companies compare themselves to and feel threatened by others. If I were one of the few video-hating individuals, then I could understand the change. However, there is comment after comment after comment on your announcement video saying what a mistake each person thinks the change is and how they want the platform to remain mainly devoted to photos. Dear Mr. Mosseri, TikTok has its place, videos have their place, and photos have their place. That was on the Instagram app, but I see you’re set on ending that.
Thank you for reminding me of how corporations (and individuals) so easily dress up lies in pretty little coverings. I know you insist that one of the reason for the changes is to better support creators, but that was so thinly veiled, I think we’ve all seen through it. Instagram has no interest in creators, except in terms of the profits you can generate from these creators paying for ads and promotions. I know it sounds bitter, but sometimes people like me need to be reminded of the dishonesty the exists in the world. So, again, thank you.
Thank you for reminding me of the power that social media holds over us, whether we like it or not. If we utilize these tools, these entertainment systems, they’re going to try to control us, what we think, what we buy, what we choose to invest our time in. Remember this?
“What you’re going to see over the next couple of months really is us start to experiment more with the space of what we call recommendations, so showing you things in Feed that you may not be following yet.”Adam Mosseri
I’ve actually carefully curated my feed so that I see what I want to see, thank you. I know it might shock you, but I, like millions of others, am actually capable of choosing what I want to see, and hiding what I don’t. I’m capable of seeking out those people and those businesses that interest me. Thank you for reminding me, yet again, of how your algorithms and entire business model exists in order to sucker me into spending more time on your app and clicking links that you choose to show me.
So thank you, Mr. Mosseri, for reminding me of the (not so) hidden dangers of social media. Thank you for making changes that will make me less likely to use your app. And thank you for inspiring me to use it less and return to the real world more. I hope others follow suit.