Instagram is halting its plans to make its social media platform more like heavyweight rival TikTok after criticism from users, chief among them mega-influencers Kim Kardashian and half-sister Kylie Jenner.
Jenner, the model, social media influencer, and cosmetics entrepreneur, boasts 360 million followers on Instagram while Kardashian, the reality television star and businesswoman, has 326 million followers.
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo is the only person with more Instagram followers (470 million) than Jenner.
Instagram sought to institute changes to its platform in order to appeal to younger users who may be inclined to gravitate toward TikTok.
The app wants to automatically have almost all video posts less than 15 minutes long be shared in the Reels format. That means there will be no difference between Reels and video posts, according to CreativeBloq.
Instagram was also planning to allow people to use any public posts in their own Reels. Prior to the planned change, users were only able to remix Reels.
While Facebook and Instagram have historically connected people to content produced by their friends, the video-based TikTok relies on algorithmic signals and viral content to show viewers highly engaging posts, without having to rely on someone’s network of friends or connections.
The Kardashian-Jenner clan wields significant clout on social media. According to Insider, Snap’s stock fell more than 8% in 2018 after Jenner tweeted that she didn’t use Snapchat anymore because she didn’t like the app’s redesign.
At the time, Snap lost more than $1 billion in market value.
Meta is in the process of revamping its social media platforms in hopes of mimicking the success of TikTok, the ByteDance-owned video-sharing app that has a user base of 655.9 million people worldwide.
TikTok’s growth in recent years has been meteoric. Analysts expect its ad revenue to catch up with YouTube by 2024. Last year, it generated more ad revenue than Snapchat.